Humor: New Publications Guidelines

Editor’s Note: The following piece by Tom Murrell part of our collection of “classics”–articles that stand the test of time no matter how many technologies come and go.

In an effort to improve productivity by reducing the amount of time wasted by writers arguing over various issues from tools to punctuation, the following Guidelines take effect immediately.

  1. Management is sick and tired of arguments over which tool is most appropriate for document development. Therefore, henceforth all documentation will be developed in Notepad® or other simple text editor. No exceptions will be granted!
  2. Too much time is spent looking up the proper spelling of words. Henceforth all dictionary use is banned. Spell it any old way. Readers will know what you mean. (For those complaining about a loss of creativity in the workplace, this guideline should provide an appropriate outlet to redress that perceived lack.)
  3. The use of pronouns is hereby banned. Writing is much clearer when nouns are used.
  4. There is too much confusion about the meaning of acronyms and abbreviations. Henceforth do not waste time trying to figure out what acronyms or abbreviations mean. Everybody knows what they mean, and new people are expected to be stupid at first. Let them learn like we did.
  5. The use of graphics to enhance documentation is causing too great a productivity decrease. Writers were hired to write. Management has decided that a thousand words are easier to produce than a comparable graphic. Besides, graphics use leads to more arguments over tools, which Management abhors. (See Guideline #1)

Management sincerely hopes that these guidelines will be accepted with the spirit in which they were promulgated. Management only wishes to put an end to the constant bickering in the workplace and get some work done.

Thank you.

Tom has worked in Technical Communications for many years in a variety of industries: Process Control, Telecommunications, and Retail Credit Processing and Financial activities. Before he became a Technical Writer, Tom was a computer programmer. He has a BA in Business Administration, and both a BA and an MA in English.

Read more articles from Tom Murrell