I try to impress upon my students the importance of clear expression. Today's news contains an example where choice of the right word may be life-critical.
The experts reworded phrases that people found confusing, and then retested them in several sittings, including one-to-one interviews.
Prof Raynor said "avoid alcoholic drinks" was a good example.
"Our user tests have shown that the word "avoid" can cause confusion and that some people think it only means they should limit their alcohol intake.
"This phrase will now be replaced by the instruction: 'do not drink alcohol while taking this medicine', which is far clearer."
Other recommendations include changing "do not take indigestion remedies at the same time of day as this medicine" to "do not take indigestion remedies two hours before or after you take this medicine".
Another phrase, "do not stop taking this medicine except on your doctor's advice", becomes "warning: Do not stop taking this medicine unless your doctor tells you to stop."