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Staff head for the exits as way-out word makes an entrance

[17 June 2014] Those unusual nouns ‘ingress’ (entry) and ‘egress’ (exit) occasionally appear in reports by building surveyors, who write things like ‘wet rot and fruiting bodies have arisen following water ingress’.

They are less often seen, though, in the humble office email, so there was some sniggering when this message went the rounds at a company swish enough to have both an atrium and an executive director:

‘Acoustic testing is to be carried out in the executive director’s office area on Thursday 10 April from 5pm. Please may we ask that you egress the building through alternative exits, other than through the atrium while the testing is concluded.’

Assuming people know what ‘acoustic testing’ means (do they?), presumably the second sentence is meant to say:

‘During the testing, please do not use the atrium exits to leave the building.’

But how will staff know that ‘testing is concluded’. Perhaps they’ll get another enlightening email.

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