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Huckleberries Online

Tue., May 16, 2006, 9:56 a.m.

SR Edit: Knock Off Bureaucratese, Legalese, Etc.

"Be it resolved that because 67 percent of government Web sites are written at a 12th-grade or higher level, whereas the average comprehension level in the United States is eighth grade, that henceforth government workers communicating with the public knock it off. And you in business, stop snickering. You aren't doing anybody any favors with your synergies, paradigms and value-addeds either. Take it offline, please. Maybe you had a misguided teacher who told you that big words are better than little ones. Maybe you needed extra words to fill out those dreaded 500-word essays. Maybe your boss taught you that jargon is power. But, really, the rest of us aren't impressed. In fact, we're mighty irritated at your arrogance. It's especially irksome to be treated this way by people on public payrolls."

For the rest of Gary Crooks' editorial about the problems with pompous, unintelligible writing, click here.

DFO: Recently, Idaho Justice Jim Jones wrote a legal opinion for the majority in that Sanders Beach case involving Jack Simpson's fence that neither Erica Curless and I could understand. I couldn't believe you could write that many pages of legal goobledygook. He didn't even bottom-line his opinion at the back. I think that bureaucrats, lawyers, businessmen, etc., who use their own jargon or write incomprehensively are covering up their inability to use the language.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.