Batman, Robin, a Smurf, The Hoff, and an aisle of toilet rolls

It’s rare that you get such deliciously different synoptic views of the same event.

It’s even rarer to see the same organisation express itself with such distinctive variety across multiple channels.

And when the event is one of those truth-is-always-always-stranger-than-fiction candidates, it’s worth writing a post about it.

Something happened in the toilet-roll aisles at a Tesco in Musselburgh last Friday.

Here’s what was stated by the officials at Police Scotland:

“A 21-year-old man was arrested and charged in connection with an assault in Eskview Road, Musselburgh, on Friday 1 November.

“He was remanded in custody until Monday 4th November, where he appeared in court and pled guilty to the offence.”

All the usual officialese formality guff was in place….”charged in connection with an assault”, “remanded in custody”, “appeared in court”, “pled guilty to the offence”. Where else do people talk like that but in official police statements.

But wait a minute. Let’s see what the same organisation said about the same event, but this time via a tweet, on Twitter:

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 18.56.50


And here’s how I found out about it, in a story on the BBC news site:

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 18.59.51


You know something? I quite like the 140 character version. Perhaps we should be considering the use of such extreme character limits for all kinds of officialese, including those pesky Terms of Service.

Let me know what you think

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