I’m in the doctor’s examining room for a scheduled checkup and my eyes wander to the safe needle disposal system you see on every wall. The instructions say, “Lift panel to assure disposal.” Minor detail, perhaps, but the word should be “ensure.” I’m wondering what such vagueness might be affecting, oh, I don’t know—prescriptions, dosages, diet instructions? At least it didn’t say “insure”….

2 thoughts on “Assurance

  1. I think both words actually work:

    “Lift panel to assure disposal” = “Lift panel and you can be satisfied (have no doubts) that it’s been disposed of”

    “Lift panel to ensure disposal” = “Lift panel to make certain disposal happened”

    • Assurance is not what’s desired in disposing of hazardous materials. Ensurance is. Someone can “assure” you with words (or signs). But to ensure means to verify the action intended. “He assured me he would attend the meeting.” “I ensured his attendance by taking him to the meeting with me.”

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