Disclaimer for all occasions

In the Sunday Review section of the NYT on Sunday, the lead story “I Disclose … Nothing” by Elisabeth Rosenthal, on hard truths about disclosure statements, with a big graphic by Jennifer Daniel (graphic designer and illustrator, and an art director at the Times). All text, with smaller and smaller type sizes as it goes on:

The resolution on this image isn’t good enough to make the last lines legible. But here’s the text:

This article, including any and all images, is for the sole use of the author and may contain confidential and/or overpriveged information, pertaining to reporting conducted under the supervision and direcion of the author and/or her collection of dolls, as well as is the property of the author and her mother, and are otherwise protected from disclosure. This story does not represent in any way the policies, positions or opinions of the publisher, myself, my editor, my boyfriend, my brother, my friends, my lawyers or my dog. Don’t quote me on that. Don’t quote me on anything. Ever. For external use only. For a limited time only. Unauthorized review, tweeting, blogging, re-blogging, tumblring, liking, redistributing of any such information contained within this article and/or its image(s) for profit and without written permission is strictly prohibited. Violators will be executed. This article is void where prohibited. Sentences are limited while words last. Author is not liable for damages arising from use or misuse. I claim no responsibility if sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, hirsutism, crying spells, slurred speech, unexplained reverse aging develops. If this story begins to smoke, step away immediately. That is not normal. You are on fire. Read only with proper ventilation. Avoid extreme temperatures and store in a cool, dry place. Text may contain explicit materials some readers may find objectionable. Keep away from pets and small children. Are you really still reading this? Thanks, Mom. All rights reserved. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is unintentional and purely coincidental. Please read at your own risk. Do not bend, fold, mutilate or spindle. Story is provided as is without any warranties. Reader assumes full responsibility. This is an equal opportunity story. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. and avoid inhaling fumes. Safety goggles may be required during use. Smoking this story could be hazardous to your health. This story is gluten-free. If ingested, and if you smell burned toast, consult a physician. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. Do not read while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Freshest if read before date on paper. Contains a substantial amount of non-active ingredents. No animals harmed during the making of this article. Except one and that was a terrible tragedy. R.I.P., Pickles. Colors may, in time, fade. All rights reserved. Other restrictions may apply. Do not remove this disclaimer under penalty of law. Terms are subject to change without notice.

The digressions from boiler-plate disclaimer language are nicely spaced throughout the text: every so often it erupts into conversation, personal references, or simple silliness. (I’m especially fond of “If this story begins to smoke, step away immediately. That is not normal. You are on fire.”) Then there are the ominous formulaic disclaimers in very fine print: “Other restrictions may apply” and “Terms are subject to change without notice”.

3 Responses to “Disclaimer for all occasions”

  1. Mike Jankulak Says:

    “R.I.P., Pickles.” hee.

  2. Jenny Says:

    It’s so hard to find gluten-free stories.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Just as better grocery stores have gluten-free departments, better independent book stores now have gluten-free sections. I hear rumors that some magazines will introduce gluten-free sections, and that a few niche magazines will go entirely gluten-free.

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