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You are dead-on. Mil specs are simply examples, and typically
inconsistent examples. I have seen that sideways bus many time. For
those who haven't had the opportunity to work with mil specs, let it be
known that inconsistency doesn't render a spec ineffective. Mil specs
are loosely bounded areas which are further restricted by agreements
between the parties involved.
Your sample chapter approach is a very good way for the provider and
customer to come to a meeting of the minds on what the spec(s) mean
(i.e., to approve an interpretation).
>From: Damien Braniff[SMTP:Damien_Braniff -at- PAC -dot- CO -dot- UK]
>Sent: Monday, April 27, 1998 1:09 AM
>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>Subject: Re: New slant: professionalism
>Re MIL Standards. I too have spent several (!) years writing for the
>military (in the UK) and while some of the spec were indeed quite
>there were others you could drive a bus through - sideways! This was
>mainly down to how the spec could be interpreted. In the end what we
>was, for each job, produced a "model chapter" basd on the spec and got
>approved. In effect we specified the interpretation of the spec so
>any ambiguity was removed.
>A lot of the "bad writing" comes, in part, due to documentation HAVING
>be provided as part of the contract and, as long as it was there, it
>didn't matter wod did it or what it looked like. Thankfully that is
>(has??) changing in most places. Recently, however, I did a brief
>local companies about what they thought of documentation - what they
>who wrote it, how important it was (1=V important, 9=had to have some).
>the whole the replies rated the importance in the region 1-3 but there
>still a couple of 9s in there.
>/Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
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