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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
"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