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Saurabh Goyal's warning on the effects of cooking eggs
in microwave ovens is timely. However, I believe
his suggestion about including warnings on the ovens
themselves to be unhelpful.
As ever increasing numbers of warnings are included
on articles which may be of danger to the public, the
law of diminishing returns begins to operate; language
loses its intended effect; warnings, like those on
cigarette packets, are disregarded.
Thus, public warnings should be very carefully
selected, and in this particular case perhaps a restyling
of the microwave manual to communicate the dangers
more clearly would be adequate.
No competing interests
30 April 2004
Lecturer in English Language, La Sapienza University