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Say What You Mean.

We’ve become a society of euphemisms. No one says what they mean anymore. Instead, we try to be politically correct and sometimes this borders on obsequious.

Case in point: the rules and regulations for a gym that I recently joined lists the following:

“Each Member must have his/her card swiped for security and photo verification on each visit to a Club. For your convenience, we take your picture and it is saved on your profile.”

How is this convenient for me? I don’t need my photo on your system. You’re the one that needs my photo, to protect yourself from people who abuse the system. And that’s ok. Businesses do need to protest themselves from unscrupulous people who will cost them money.

The pandering to misplaced politeness continues:

“When you scan into the Club, your picture will appear for the front desk Associate to verify that it is actually you using your Membership. This will protect you from having someone else use your card. Also, we need to always know who is in our Clubs to ensure the safety and security of our Members, as only authorized individuals are allowed in the Club.”

No, this is not to protect me from having someone else use my card. I don’t care one bit whether someone else uses my card, as it costs me nothing. But again, it will cost the gym something. Just say so. Stop trying to tell me that this is somehow beneficial to me. It’s plain silly, as we all know the purpose of having our photos taken is to prevent us from lending our membership to someone else.

The second bit about knowing who is in the gym on any given day does carry some legitimacy. So why not just state that as the purpose if you want to explain the mug shots without being direct?

It’s one thing to be polite, but it’s quite another thing to say things that are obviously false in an effort to avoid causing offence. In fact, it offensive that whoever wrote those terms think members aren’t sensible enough to see through the whole spiel. Just stop it, and say what you mean.

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