The WonderMark Awards recognize the “best” (worst) in un-Plain, un-reader-friendly, cumbersome, confusing, and poorly designed communication – writing that really makes you wonder!

WonderMark Winner

An unintended science project
Issued by: Suffolk County Water Authority, Oakdale, NYComments:

“Talk about drowning in information.

This map, and the handy 44-page report that accompanies it, tells me that my
area is served by 79 wells. And I care about this why? All I want to know is: Is
my water safe? If this is the best they can do, I have to assume it’s not. Time to
switch to martinis?

And when I use the “helpful” option to type in my address to zero in on the area of
Long Island where I live, it says my home is “not found.” Huh, does that mean I
didn’t need to pay my bill for the past 46 years?”


WonderMark finalists

First runner up

Victoria’s Secret credit account terms and conditions

Issued by: Comenity Bank


“What secret is Victoria hiding in all this mumbo-jumbo?

There’s more material in this document than in any clothing item sold at Victoria’s

And, please, Wisconsin residents take note:

For Wisconsin residents:

If you are married, please contact us immediately upon receipt of this Agreement at 1-800-695-9478 (TDD/TTY 1-800-695-1788) and provide us with the name and address of your
spouse. We are required to inform your spouse that we have opened a credit account for you.

Ladies and gentlemen of Wisconsin, if you are buying a Victoria’s Secret item that
is not intended for your spouse, you may just want to pay cash.”

Second runner up

The baffling discount chart

Issued by: HonorHealth, Phoenix, Arizona


“I can’t figure out my discount, and I don’t know why family size alone determines
Federal Poverty Level, but I sure would love to get 300-500% of my income if
they can work that out for me.

Seems like a classic case of the 0.2% who understand this chart will receive 85%
of the Medical Financial Assistance, but they are clearly 400% above the average
American who just got out of the hospital and has 0% of a clue as to what they’re
talking about.”