Don't should on me

Subject: Don't should on me
From: "Glenn Crumpley <gcrumpley -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- c" <gcrumpley -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 1994 09:58:03 EDT

Regarding the replacement of "will" with "shall"...

I learned that technical people are taught to write specifications using the
word "shall" because this, supposedly, emphasizes that this is a requirement
and not a suggestion or a wish or some such. I have never quite understood
this. My main objection to "shall" is that I never hear it used in
everyday speech. My dictionary labels it archaic. I don't see the
distinction between saying, "The program shall xxxx..." and "The program
will xxx..." Does anyone know how this usage began or why it persists?


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