Re: Sidenote to "dont should..

Subject: Re: Sidenote to "dont should..
From: Dan BRINEGAR <HBDeBenu -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 1994 21:53:28 EDT

Concerning Should/shall and Military Manuals, Barb (BurkBrick) Wrote:

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?




Well, speaking as one of the grunts <smile>-- Most of the MilSpecs for field
service documentation _REQUIRE_IMI_REQUIRE_ the direct imperative "Turn the
switch off -and a picture of the switch."

We Smart Grunts in the Cavalry or SIgnal Corps might tend to be offended by
"The Operator shall..." and I do believe I have seen an entire Infantry
platoon wandering the motor pool looking for Sergeant Stumblebumm to switch
off the scout-compartment heater in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle (Sgt S being
the designated "Operator" dontcha know...)

Why are so many military manuals infested with shalls?
Blame it on Gen MacArthur!!!! <grin>

Ex-PFC H. Bushdog deBenu Ex-Sgt D.J.Brinegar
Cavalry Signal Corps

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