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February 13, 2015
Lawyers Who Don't Listen For What People May Actually Be Hearing
 
“What are we saying and why? Can we say it better, so as to avoid any confusion that might besmirch us?” Besmirch?  Yes, Samsung may well  be feeling tarnished  by language in the terms of service for its voice-activated televisions that suggested the “Smart TV” might actually be eavesdropping on its viewers.

Lawyers again not paying close enough attention to what the “boilerplate” they craft might actually be saying. We have the Corporate Counsel site to thank for this illustration of how language as commonly understood by “us folks” actually matters. It’s our most basic relational attribute — use it carefully if you want people to listen and understand accurately. And who doesn’t?

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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