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Please knock - we don't bite

Seen on a door in a hospital. This got me thinking. The first sentence is encouraging and inviting. The people inside clearly want visitors. But the second sentence got me thinking. Is that the incentive for knocking? That they won’t bite? I think perhaps the occupants need to aim higher with their reward schemes. Offer cookies perhaps?

Also, I am starting to wonder if the phrase “I won’t bite” has run its course. I understand its primeval origins given that it was a legitimate source of fear in the cave ages. But of the list of things that scare us about other people, biting is no longer high on that list. Maybe we need some new phrases?

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