Passive in a hospital gown.

So, I’m an editor. I think like an editor. This means that I often look around the sea of bad copy and horrible user experience and think, “The world needs me!”

At Corporate Behemoth, we’ve been talking about tone lately. What does our product sound like? What emotions do we want to convey?

It was this project that was fresh in my mind as I left today to, uh, go to a doctor’s appointment. My lady doctor appointment.

Yes, it’s the best day of the year!

So, I got weighed and had my blood pressure taken. I was trying to make small talk with the nurse, but she was wearing a student badge and appeared to be concentrating really, really hard. Which was sort of in direct contrast to my “Let me flash my goods and get the hell out of here” attitude.

After she very deliberately wrote down my stats, she then pulled out the gown and the sheet. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about here. And this dear, sweet, very young nurse-in-training said, “Here’s a gown and a sheet. The gown will open in the front. The sheet will be over your lap.”

I about choked on my Silence of the Lambs flashback. “It rubs the lotion on its skin …”

Tweaking a few tenses and rearranging just a few words would have made that whole interaction a lot more comfortable for me, the end user. When it comes to editorial tone, the end user generally doesn’t want to be reminded of a scary-ass movie about a serial killer who skinned women’s corpses in order to make his own flesh bodysuit.

And really? That’s not a cool flashback to have at your lady doctor appointment.

Like I said, I’m an editor. It’s my job to be critical.

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