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I’m in the doctor’s examining room for a scheduled checkup and my eyes wander to the safe needle disposal system you see on every wall. The instructions say, “Lift panel to assure disposal.” Minor detail, perhaps, but the word should be “ensure.” I’m wondering what such vagueness might be affecting, oh, I don’t know—prescriptions, dosages, diet instructions? At least it didn’t say “insure”….

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Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 2

  • Praveen Puri

    September 26, 2017

    I think both words actually work:

    “Lift panel to assure disposal” = “Lift panel and you can be satisfied (have no doubts) that it’s been disposed of”

    “Lift panel to ensure disposal” = “Lift panel to make certain disposal happened”

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