My Daughter Said She'd Burn This Book! -- by L. David Mark


Chapter 58 - Governmentese


      So it was Friday and I had just picked up the summary sheet on the NCAA basketball tournament from Steve Farbman over at the Department of Transportation & was exchanging a few pleasantries over who had picked which teams.

      "You know," I said, "all these people who are picking Cincinnati are making a mistake. There's only one way to win this pool."

      "What's that?" Steve said.

      "You've got to pick right!" I exclaimed. "And it helps if you do it from the start."

      "That's very profound," Steve laughed.

      "Yeah," I replied. "It doesn't do any good to pick an underdog -- even if you're behind. Now picking an underdog winner -- that's a different matter."

      (On the following Monday, when I reminded Steve that he didn't take my advice about picking right, he replied, "Oh, but I did pick right -- they just didn't play right!")

      On the way out of the office, I noticed it had three boxes. They were labeled "Incoming," "Outgoing" & "Comments."

      That's a little different than the usual "in" & "out," I thought. And then decided that maybe all offices should have three boxes. But they should be labeled "Incoming," "Outgoing" & "Not Sure." That leaves room for everything.

      Which reminded me of a memo the former deputy administrator of APHIS' PPQ unit had sent out to all his employees. It discussed the proper terminology to use when referring to Plant Protection and Quarantine, noting that in some instances the unit was being called "Plant Protection and Quarantine Programs" and sometimes it was just "Plant Protection and Quarantine" and if "programs" was mentioned it was lower case. The memo then went on to proclaim that "hereafter PPQ shall be referred to as 'Plant Protection and Quarantine.'" And it was signed:

      Harvey L. Ford, Deputy Administrator
      Plant Protection and Quarantine Programs

#


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