Nuanced Matters

After watching and reading hours and hours (and hours) of news related to Hurricane Sandy, there is only one particular item that stands out to me as being an excellent example of a nuanced communication.

Specifically, Channel 7 showed a slide / bullet point list discussing airport status. They broke it down as such:

  • JFK will be open tomorrow
  • LGA is not open
  • Newark is closed
    [emphasis all mine]

So, did you catch that? If not, happy to break it down. 1) JFK airport is good-to-go, probably some obvious delays service reductions, but in good shape. 2) LaGuardia Airport is not in as good shape, but hopeful. 3) Newark Airport is a hot mess.

A number of people who were with me while that flashed on screen got it, but couldn’t explain how they got it.

For those of us who write and craft e-mails, articles, other documentations, and presentations — that is to say, all of us — we should be very aware of how to effectively and efficiently convey depth and meaning with just tweaking of a few words. It matters.

That slide was 12 words – now that didn’t take much, right?

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