Re: Sidenote to "don't S...

Subject: Re: Sidenote to "don't S...
From: BurkBrick -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 12:29:19 EDT

Barb (BurkBrick -at- AOL -dot- COM) writes:
> As a sidenote, I worked with a writer for a while that
> changed all my "wills" to "shalls," which I think is the
> absolute in condescension. As a contractor, there wasn't much I
> could do about it - he had final say - but I got out of the
> contract as soon as possible!
Dianne Phelan replied:
>Continuing the sidenote, I was taught there is a LEGAL
>difference between "shall" and "will" (and also between "that"
>and "which").

If I can defend myself a wee bit here - The writer I was working with was
changing sentences from "Turn the On/Off switch On" to "The operator shall
turn the On/Off switch On." I found this to be excessive - especially because
this was supposed to be a military off-the-shelf manual. The users were army
"grunts" who (I believed) would be more confused than enlightened by the use
of "shall."

"Shall" does seem to be popular in military documents, but I don't recall
seeing it in any of the style specs - anybody know why this is so prevalent
in military documents?



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