Beware False Ranges
By Paul Krantz

“The new BMW 500 arrives loaded with cutting edge technology, everything from in-dash GPS to electronic stability control.”

Did you spot the problem with this sentence? It suffers from a common communication fault called a false range. These sentences usually take the form of “everything from ‘A’ to ‘B’.” The problem arises when the reader has no way of knowing what comes between A and B.

In our example, the reader can guess which technologies are in the new BMW, but it’s unlikely that the car really has every automotive technology available.

To avoid false ranges, be certain that the reader can fill in at least some if not all of the missing elements. For example, “Acme Bike Repair is ready to handle everything from fixing a flat to restoring a 1895 Schwinn Roadster.” Anyone reading this gets the clear message: When it comes to your bike, Acme can fix it.

In most cases, however, the better solution is to make it easy on the reader. “The new BMW comes loaded with cutting edge technology, including in-dash GPS, speed- sensitive airbags, blind spot alarms, rear-view camera and electronic stability control.
Return to Learn Archive


4 reasons to work
with Vercene Inc:

  1. You're in control.
  2. I help small staffs shine.
  3. Corporations are people, my friend.
  4. Compared to the cost of brand damage, my rates are a steal.

Let's connect 

Email: pkrantz@gmail.com

Tel: 515-321-3937

Address: 6118 Goodman Dr., Urbandale, IA  50322 (map)

Powerful Communications Blog

Follow me on Twitter

Facebook Funnies

Check  me out on LinkedIn and Manta