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FOREWORD TO THE SECOND PRINTING
UNITED NATIONS PUBLICATION
Sales No. E.83.1.22
Copyright @ United Nations 1984 All rights resewed Manufactured in the United States of America
Nearly two decades after its frt publication, W H. Hindle's is . wise and witty booklet A Guide to Writingfmthe UnitedNations has lost none of its value and appeal. Those twenty years have coincided with a period of intense international activity and this has been reflected in the work of the Secretariat, which has grown rapidly in both volume and complexity. Every day, in response to requests by intergovernmental bodies, the Secretariat is engaged in drawing up numerous reports, studies and compilationsof statisticsexploring the vast array of international problems with which the United Nations is concerned and then translating them into six languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, kench, Russian and Spanish) for the information of Member States in taking decisions. Not surprisingly, the documents and records in which all this information is embodied have swelled to alarming proportions. What one of my predecessors in office referred to, in his preface to the frt ediis tion, as the "vast flow of documentation" has now become a tidal wave. And the need to limit and control it has become a matter of compelling, if not obsessive, concern both to Secretariat officials and 'to the members of delegations that have to read these documents, master their contents and take a position on them on behalf of their Governments. In this endeavour of control and limitation, W. H. Hindle's helpful and unpretentious Guide has something important to say. Writing for the United Nations, Hindle rightly contends, has special difficulties, requirements and constraints. What the United Nations says must be couched in an idiom intelligible to the nationals of 158 different Member States varying greatly in language, tradition, structure and political philosophy. Moreover, most documents written for the use of United Nations deliberative bodies must be readily translatable into languages as culturally disparate as, say, Spanish and Chinese. But writing for bureaucratic organhtions need not be dull, plodding, repetitious or mechanical; on the contrary, official writing can be excellent of its kind and the conscientiousapplication of the principles laid down in this little Volume wiU go far towards achieving that result. Annex I takes aim at bad official writing and is replete 1 with horrifying examples, which are always illuminating and sometimes hilarious. Unfortunately, some of the battles the author waged against locutions which drew his ire have long ago been lost: what bureaucracy could now operate without such words as "implement'; "as appropqiate'; "clarification" and "breakdown"? Who knows what other banalities q d newly
minted words and phrases we may, reluctantly,learn to live with? However that may be, Mr. Hindle's genial Ouide will continue to provide a model of elegance and good taste for al aspiring or l veteran writers for international organizations who care to heed his admonitiod. As the United Nations prepares to enter the fifth decade of its existence, the present reissue of this serious but delightful treatise on'writing by W. H. Hindle, who died in 1967, is affectionately dedicated to his memory. Johan Theron Chief E i o dtr Lkpartmat of Conference Services 19 January 1984
Writing cannot be taught by handbooks. It demands a practised ear, courage, modesty, vigilance and perseverance. There is, therefore, no assurance that this Guide willproduce good writers. But there i s every assurance that its readers will be refreshed, amused and encouraged, and that they will turn to their unfinished work with a keener awareness of the pitfalls that surround their efforts. The United Nations produces a vast quantity of documentation on a great variety of subjects. The General Assembly and its Committees, the Economic and Social Council and its functional commissions, the regional economic commissions, the many conferences and special seminars, all require the preparation of reports, background papers, surveys and special studies. The subjects treated in these documents and publications range from the scientific aspects of the uses of atomic energy and the role o f technology in economic development, to questions of human rights, the prevention of crime and juvenile delinquency, the nationality of married women and the rehabilitation of the disabled. Nothing that could possibly be a matter of concern to the world community is ignored in the publications of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Much of this output is of considerable interest to United Nations delegates, government officials who deal with these subjects, and to specialists and students. Much of i t is prepared by outs tanding experts. How to limit and control this vast flow of documentation is a matter of special concern to officials of the Secretariat, prodded regularly by the ever- watchful Advisory Committee on Administratjve and Budgetary Questions. But a matter of equal, if not greater, concern is how to make these publications more r e a b able, more manageable, and thus more widely and more easily accessible. The two concerns are complementary. The hope of contributing to the attainment of both objectives inspired the preparation of this Guide. It is the work of W. H. Hindle, a member of the United Nations Secretariat from 1947 until his retirement in 1964. During that time, Mr. Hindle served as pr4cis- writer, as editor and finally as Chief of the Editorial Control Section in the Office of Conference Services, where he supervised the work of an international team of editors. Before joining the Secretariat, Mr. Hindle wrote on foreign affairs for a number of British newspapers and journals. He was literary
editor o f the Evening Standard and editor of the Review of Reviews and the English Review During fhe war he served with the British diplomatic service He i s tbe autbor O f Portrait of a Newspaper (1937) and Foreign Correspondent (1939)
Mr Hindle'd knowledge a United Nations documentation and f his personal experience with it are his credentials for offering to his colleagues-and to any others who may happen to listen in-the advice on d r d i n g contained in this Guide This he he^ with urbanity. charm* and wit* and with profit to his readers
Foreword to t h e second printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v I. I1. I11. IV. V. VI . VII . VIII .
Leo Malania Chief Editor Executive office Of tbe SecretarpCeneral
THE PURPOSE OF WRITING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 WRITING FORTHE UNITED NATIONS .......:.. 2 BEFOREWRITING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 PLANNING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 SI'YLE: POSITIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 STYLE: NEGATIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ACCURACY AND CONSISTENCY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 THE EXAMPLE OFTHE MASTERS . . . . . . . . . . .;. 15 AFTER WRITING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
IJ . Some linguistic illsand remedies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 II. Rewriting can help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 I IV. United Nations writers can write . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
I . Representative criticisms
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Except f o r a Not "anyone" can write favoured few. it is commonly assumed that "anyone can writen. we wished to insult him without risk of a libel action). We write to Aunt Priscilla that the cat has just had kittens. It sounds a purpose easy to achieve. to instruct. usually in order to inform. forethought is required in this elementary writing. how much more forethought is required in writing about B e new and more complex subjects which occupy the mind of man today: Technicians in these new subjects have by-passed the problem by developing specialized vocabularies which enable them to communicate among . writing is a difficult a r t and has to be learned. The first part of the learning consists in realizing the writer and the that writing involves two persons reader. Most people would take it for granted that a physician had followed a long course of training. - - Unless.I. i s true. that a translator's ability to translate had been tested. of course. If. our children a t summer camp that they must not spend any more money on riding lessons. our writing must be governed not only by the nature of the subject. We would not tell Aunt Priscilla that the marmalade cat next door was the protagonist in the c a s e of the kittens. But "anyone" can write. Because of this apparent ease of everyday communication. we a r e merely stringing words together like the penny-a-liner. THE PURPOSE OF WRITING The purpose of writing i s to communicate facts o r thoughts. then. of course. therefore. if he does (or does not) vote in favour of medical c a r e for the aged. The opposite. We do it every day. The reader is the more important: "he does not write whose poems no man reads". Nor would we tell the Deputy that his last vote was arcane (unless. to be read. that an aeroplane mechanic had served a period of apprenticeship. a friend in Rome that a funny thing happened on the way to the Capitol. in writing to Aunt Priscilla we would use a tone and a vocabulary different from the tone and vocabulary we would use in writing to our Deputy. but also by the uature of the addressee. To take the elementary examples given above. our Deputy (Congressman. Member of Parliament) that. to entertain o r to persuade. he will not have our vote next time.
have so to write that our writings will bring the publisher a profit (although that discipline is not to be despised: there is some stimulus to a writer in the knowledge that his reader will expect value for money received). But all authors a r e sensitive men.Monsieur. "nous auons des liqueursw. there a r e differences in the mesninq of words. Even between countries which have a language in common. The mould may not always appear the best possible. There was no beer. many laymen for whom a report was intended may find it intelligible only after long and vexatious study. for . Other reports may be produced by a team of men of varied specializations. . Curious to explore this generally urban taste in rural surroundings. an international official may have t o convey ideas that a r e foreign Nor a r e these the only special difficulties encountered in writing for the United Nations. particularly when these polysyllables have acquired an aura of sanctity through enshrinement in resolutions. Our duty is to inform. often in a language which i s foreign to many of them. We do not have to entertain and we must not attempt to instruct. sometimes in a language which is foreign to ourselves. But their jargons-the editorial technician's technical term for technical terms-have grown like weeds until the flowers of information a r e hidden not only from laymen but even from specialists in other branches. The task of those writing in the Secretariat i s limited in some respects. said the proprietor compassionately. go into such detail that they leave no possibility of writing other than a stereotyped report. The writer writing in a language not his own is apt to believe that the sonorous polysyllables of previous United Nations reports . stopped at a village store for a beer. must deal with the problems raised by the new branches of knowledge. Some United Nations resolutions.. Cadaster.wAlors. some of whom a r e writing in a language not their own. a r e also servants of the other organs. It soundsasimple duty. Writing for the United Nations could not be easier than writing for the public at large. travelling recently in a Frenchspeaking part of North America. II. Thus. Even when he is writing in his own tongue. it is to serve them in whatever manner they themselves may instruct. How many physicists. but to stay in it may be a convenient way of averting a resumption of debate."cohorts"? Yet United Nations organs. and even then only when s o instructed. The variance of specialization can result in the piling of jargon upon jargon. culture. Technicians a r e especially s o because they doubt whether the rewriting layman can s o accurately interpret what they mean a s not to leave it open to misinterpretation. a s well a s with the traditional political. social and economic problems of mankind. would understand what a demographer means when he speaks of . which collectively contain a small minority of specialists and a big majority of laymen. Our duty is not to instruct them. They also tend to fear that their fellow members will . our colleague asked what kind of liqueurs were to be had. A Frenchspeaking colleague. Sometimes they are. Ideally. must be used. a s the author writing for a commercial publisher must usually do. We have to inform them in a language acceptable to them all.. for example.. i t s individual members.. Others a r e often s o deliberately vague a s to require research into the debates on them in order to find out exactly what the authors intended. but we. For those we have to inform a r e the representatives of more than one hundred nations varying in language. a l l such reports should be rewritten by one hand. Nor can we plead causes other than those common to all mankind. It is not. such a s that embodying the Standard Form for information on non-self-governing territories. It is in fact more difficult for reasons peculiar to the nature of the Organization. WRITING FOR THE UNITED NATIONS to it. which contains a larger proportion of specialists but still a big majority of laymen. Over the years some United Nations reports required by the Charter or rules of procedure have become s e t in a mould from which it is difficult to break out. tradition and mode of thought. We do not. but.themselves. The Secretariat is a principal organ of the United Nations. nous auons du Coca-Cola . might not be immediately intelligible to all the English-speaking peoples. and their servant the Secretariat.example.
an Irishman. we a r e to some extent the slaves of ungainly and tautological precedent. After this catalogue. an Arnerican. you may feel like echoing Omar Khayyam's c r y of despair: Oh Thou who didst with Pitfall and with Gin Beset the Road I was to wander in. clear and logical stories. we may have to write about wimplementation". Bureaucrats a r e under constant p r e s s u r e to "play it safew. especially when it must be translated into one o r m o r e languages before the organ meets. stillwrite accurate. Unfortunately. The fact that many United Nations reports a r e published in several languages also imposes on u s an obligation to avoid the loose phrase and the murky word. we cannot substitute a plain word like "pay" for "remuneration" when quoting it. If the wording could not be changed without damage to the meaning. by considering whether what we have written could be expressed in other words. however slight. what the weather forecasters in London would aall "bright intervals" in this otherwise gloomy sky. Incidentally. The opinion was a t r u i s m recorded on the clay tablets of U r of the Chaldees more than five thousand y e a r s before. who said half a century ago that *the man of science appears to be the only man who. Their f e a r s must be put to rest. and O s c a r Wilde. We s t i l l can and should point out that their great knowledge will be of greater value to the world if it can be communicated to others. Joseph Conrad. if we a r e familiar with two ~f the working languages-as. a German by origin. clear. wrote much better English than many English-speaking people. We can even make the test within our own language. since the United Nations is primarily interested not in the psychological causes of prostitution. (It was a l s o an evasion. we should be-we can test our clarity by trying to translate what we have written from one language into the other. M. writing under greater pressure than we. it c a r r i e s over into non-political m a t t e r s where the substance of a report is mandatory.not accept them a s authorities unless they write in the jargon of the club. even when writing in our native tongue.) Tinally. . but not impossible. especially evident in political reports. but in i t s economic and social consequences. Bureaucraticcaution is. understandably. ideally. Writing in a language other than our own i s a hard task. then we a r e a s near perfection a s is humanly possible. wrote excellent French. Others will require a report overnight. a Spaniard. and George Santayana. If the title of an ILO convention is "Equal Remuneration for Equal Work". has something to say just now-and the only man who does not know how to say it". We cannot be a s brutal a s J. even though the word has been characterized by an authority on the English language a s "the barbarous jargon of the Scottish Bar". As f o r what we may consider the roadblocks strewn in our path by United Nations practices. they may even prove an incentive to the accurate. Julian Green. Ford Madox Hueffer. Clarity is a s difficult to achieve in an international bureaucracy a s in national bureaucracies. a Greek.to hide a fact rather than state it. We must not overburden our colleagues in the translation services. B a r r i e . consistent writing which is the kind most desirable in an international organization. Properly regarded. however. Thou wilt not with Predestination round Enmesh me. a Pole. Some United Nations organs s e t time-limits for advance circulation of their reports which make it almost impossible to bring a report up to date. they a r e the facts of life we have to live with. s o a s to leave a back door open for escape f r o m the c r i t i c s infront. When a resolution c a l l s upon an organ to wimplement" something. concise. The Trusteeship Council and similar bodies have held "oral hearings" for solong that it would s e r v e no purpose to point out now that a hearing could hardly be ocular. and impute m y Fall to Sin? There a r e . There is a Secretariat report on traffic in women which reproduced a Member State's opinion that the reason for the prevalence of prostitution might be "a natural tendency to promiscuityw. Some journalists. but the form could be at the Secretariat's discretion. Ernest Psichari. Most of u s must also admi' that we a r e not a s learned a s the technicians a r e and defer to their judgement in c a s e of disagreement.
ideally. Operationalorgans like UNICEF o r the Technical Assistance Committee. and a s such may sometimes point out newfacts that have come to light o r old facts that have been forgotten. such a s the International Law Commission. for whom and what we a r e going to write. clarity. conciseness. Once this and the preceding questions have been answered. But United Nations resolutions run from three lines to a thousand or more and from the most precise wording possible to the utterly foggy. by a statement of general principles. an organ such a s the Security Council. The 'survieww will also enable us to see the end a s well a s the beginning. Some specialists among us sometimes think. before writing. and sometimes rightly. others. It is a crucial question because it lies at the heart of long-winded. tend to tell the reader all they know rather than what he wants to know. in the geography of howledge. Nevertheless. A United Nations report should not say everything that can be said on a given subject. the next action. but should select and state those facts. f IV. They a r e specialists too. that a r e necessary to understanding of the subject for a given purpose. It is a question deserving of careful consideration. Once we have decided why. PLANNING None of u s would start to build a garage without f i r s t making a plan. how. that they have all the material they need at their finger-tips.Ill. Some bodies. may be best served by a detailed technical paper. to why we a r e going to write. I inaction is not possible. an analytical study. there comes the question of what to use and what to discard. and only those facts. Discovery of a new fact or rediscovery of a forgotten fact may enhance the value of a report. the Committee on Industrial Development. Guide-lines for this forethought may have been laid down in a resolution adopted by a United Nations organ. and particularly specialists. BEFORE WRITING Accuracy. On most subjects a well-written paper is shorter than one that is ill-written. may want only statistics. consult with the Secretary. It may want merely an account of action already takenor a summing. a narrative. then the next step i s planning. since reduction of quantity often leads automatically to improvement in quality. the question i s more often what to leave out than what to put in. Planning is just a s necessary a preliminary . A word used in a resolution on sovereignty over n ~ t u r a lresources may not have exactly the same meaning a s the same word when used in a resolution on economic aid to developing countries. the Rapporteur o r the Chairmanof the body concerned. we must consider what kind of report the body that has given us our instructions requires. After that. How a r e they to be achieved in United Nations documents? The first step to this endconsists ingiving thought. finer and r a r e r things. there a r i s e s the question of the material available. the last sentence a s well a s the first. consistency a r e fine words. what we are going to write. would be inaction: to sit back and let facts and ideas sort themselves out in the subconscious mind. we cannot write clearly and therefore cannot expect the reader to understandwhat we have written. and how and for whom. The first step i s therefore to decide exactly what our instructions are: unless we ourselves know exactly what we a r e called upon to write. This is perhaps the best way to discover what Coleridge called the "surview which enables a man to foresee the whole of what he is to convey and arrange the different parts according to their relative importance as an organized wholew. O r it may want the kind of report which will provide the groundwork for future action. it can do no harm to consult our colleagues in the Library. and s o give direction to our thoughts. up of the stages passed in consideration of a question. We may therefore have to turn back to the records of the debate which preceded adoption of a resolution and. reports. and thereby poor. in some cases. Because of the abundance of information available today. Once the material available has been assembled. To find out exactly what we a r e to write may not be easy. Conscientious authors. such a s the Legal Sub-committee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. for example.
Forethought is needed f o r both. If he likes the introduction. whether a t home o r abroad. the writers. in another to the panic which s e i z e s many of u s at the sight of a blank page that h a s to be filled. most of u s a r e under the influence of alien words and alien grammatical constructions. object. summarizing what is to follow. An outline of the sequence of ideas o r facts. a statement of the reason for the report. A table of contents is static. The first part of the French model coincides with United Nations practice. For the busy international reader the conclusion may be the most important part. and we want to be on the move towards our conclusion from the start. In one case this haste may be due to p r e s s u r e of time. First. Provided we have the dates right to beginwith. There a r e various kinds of sequence-logical. For consideration of a question in a United Nations body may go beyond the beginning of action on the question and may have to be c o r r e lated with that action. Thirdly.to the production of a report. simple . the panic must be overcome. is essential. They will not keep us on the road unless we ourselves exercise constant vigilance. V. secondly. In warding off these enemies of simplicity and clarity. Once that goal is reached. For in either c a s e it will generally be found that time p r e s s e s l e s s if the f i r s t part of it is given to sorting out facts o r ideas. it will serve later a s a check-list. verb. it might appear that chronological sequence is a s easy a s falling off a log. but also of trial and e r r o r . It is not desirable in the direct communication of facts o r ideas which is our sole purpose. we a r e under constant bombardment from the cryptic headlines. At leisure. Yet many authors in the United Nations take a running jump at their subject and s o risk falling flat on their faces. leaving the rest of the body for later study. It might be thought that a table of contents would serve the same purpose a s an introduction. Often this is best done by following the natural order of thought: subject. Secondly. an outline of what the report would say. One of the simplest was that of Euclid's propositions. A first positive rule would be to state a fact o r an idea directly whenever possible. A plan is needed. The other parts offer useful pointers. it f r e e s our minds so that we can concentrate on developing each of the parts of a report. it leaves the reader in no doubt a s to what the report and i t s parts a r e about. The pressure must be accepted a s an occupational hazard. radio and advertising. for example. it may be found useful to prepare a brief introduction. lastly. He r e the language of childhood may offer u s better models than the language of bureaucrats. he will be more inclined to go on to the body of the report. thirdly. and may still be. usually in the form of a quotation from a resolution. "Mary had a little lambn is a perfect example of concise. Finally. For us. Suspense is essential in a detective story. distortion and over-emphasis of P r e s s . it makes c l e a r on what points we need more information. history h a s given u s many models. a conclusion making recommendations. psychological. most United Nations reports begin with a statement of the authority for them. chronological. It is not necessarily so. There a r e too many enemies waiting by the wayside. It laid down that a report to a government department should be in four parts: first. STYLE: POSITIVE A carefully thought-out. and. some positive and some negative rules may be of help. development of points in the outline. Another was until recently. It enables him to get at once to the heart of the matter. an introduction dynamic. in use in the French civil service. In the United Nations the logical and chronological kinds a r e most often needed. While at work in an international organization (wherever it may be). We may have to t r y several different approaches to a question and leave them dormant in our subconscious for a whileuntilwe hit upo'n the right one. an interesting introduction may whet the reader's appetite. An introduction s e r v e s several purposes. Logical sequence is a by-product not only of forethought. plan and a concise introduction will s e t u s on the road to that clarity and simplicity which a r e our goal. It does not.
The practice of short sentences also combats the tendency to hedge direct statement around with subordinate clauses. it confounds the issue by combining active and passive in the same sentence. United Nations writers. short sentences and short paragraphs a r e to be preferred to longwords. Occasionally. the practice of short paragraphs a c t s a s a brake on the writer who t r i e s to string too many ideas o r facts together and thereby confuses both himself and his readers. an "aspect " o r a "concept (In the four mimeographed pages of a recent United Kingdom memorandum to the United Nations. To return to a previous point. especially applicable in the United Nations. nouns. accurate a s that description may be. Mary exercised rights of ownership over a c e r tain juvenile member of the sheep family". tend to be static. Visually. Psychologically. Such "statements" do not mean much in either passive or active form. X". but at least the latter is shorter. long sentences and long paragraphs whenever possible. . A fifth positive rule. Others may be found in the annexes and in the works listed in the bibliography." For u s it should go: "Concrete will only be Things that you can touch and see. like other officialwriters. they a r e l e s s forbidding than long paragraphs. When there is a long chain of them. seem toprefer the passive voice to the active. a s in "The Chairman made a statement regarding the statement made at the previous meeting by Mr. especially abstract nouns. the dynamic is generally preferable to the static. This brief list of positive general rules could be complemented by a list of negative general rules ten times a s long a s the Ten Commandments. Day after day.) "." We can touch a table o r s e e a mountain. would be that short words. the reader may become too tired to go on and find out what is "the question with respect to whichn the w r i t e r wishes to write. most of them inappropriate. week after week.. no doubt because of the everlasting bureaucratic fear that a d i r e c t statement may lead to trouble. Short words familiar to the reader a r e better still. A third positive rule would be touse verbs in the active rather than the passive voice whenever possible. and suggests that somebody did something rather than that something was done to something by somebody. In o r d e r to dis'tinguish between the concrete and the abstract. Short sentences a r e better because they allow the reader to pause and absorb the idea o r fact a sentence is intended to convey. An announcement from the United Nations that "world trade continued its expansion" does not convey the same sense of movement a s "world trade continued to expand". There is no need to call a cocktail a "rooster's caudal appendage". In debate. This ran: "Masculine will only be Things that you can touch and see. a s sometimes happens in United Nations reports. one idea to one paragraph i s a good rule of thumb. A second positive rule would be to use verbs rather than nouns whenever possible. it might help to adapt the tag once used in Latin g r a m m a r s to distinguish masculine from feminine nouns. short paragraphs make for e a s e of reference. Sentences beginning "with respect to" (or such variants a s "in regard to". This bureaucratic caution c a r r i e s over into a r e a s where it is not needed. Through the use of "its".statement of fact. Short paragraphs a r e better for three reasons. "in reference to") leave the reader dangling. Short words a r e better because they a r e more likely to be understood by a multilingual readership. because cocktails a r e familiar in the United Nations. A few a r e listed here. it says that "a statement was made by the representative of Blank" when it could have said that "the representative of Blank made a statement". month after month. We cannot touch o r see those most favoured of bureaucratic words. It is thereby much more effective than the bureaucrat's roundabout "with respect to the question of pets. it also endows world trade with a separate personality which world trade does not in fact possess. "concerning". easier to read. year after year. A fourth positive rule would be to use concrete rather than abstract words whenever possible. there were fourteen "conceptsw. Verbs a r e dynamic. The United Nations Journal has provided many thousands of instances.
STYLE: NEGATIVE United Nations reports. But unless he i s a skilled writer-and members of t h e s e c r e t a r i a t a r e not always chosen for their ability to write-he will find that the short sentence. when we in the Secretariat may follow the example of an African President of the General Assembly and speak in simple. we should call a spade a spade and not an agricultural implement. it i s quite natural f o r him to add that "these sombre prospects should reinforce thedetermination of the countries of the region . There may be times when longwords and long sentences a r e more appropriate than short words and short sentences. they should generally be straightforward.VI. vague "concepts" more suited to the occasion than specific proposals. have an unhappy connotation. but in his official capacity he cannot express.. for historical reasons. we a r e almost c e r tain to find that some thought o r fact i s inflated. This i s not an accident." It i s also quite wrong. May the day soon dawn when the reasons a r e regarded a s historical only. if a member of the secre-. a s Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said: "All generalizations a r e false. Emphasis can be a useful tool. In his private capacity the internatiollal civil servant may have. Even apart from that special case. personal opinions. Inasmuch a s United Nations reports a r e addressed to a majority of people unfamiliar with the language in which they a r e written. It i s "specially emphasized". To many of our r e a d e r s the straightforward t e r m may. Picking a United Nations report at random. Resolutions a r e a special case. much l e s s tell t h e Member States what they should do. Adjectives and adverbs have a way of leading into expressions of personal opinion. It may be in subconscious revolt against this impersonality that United Nations writers stuff their work with such ineaningless phrases a s "over-all national organization" and "substantially strengthened syste'm". the writer cannot be for ever bound in a strait-jacket of staccato one-line sentences. Meanwhile we willdo better to use some such circumlocution a s Africa south of the Sahara. The words "whenever possible" have beenused several times in the preceding paragraphs. on this occasion fear that some delegation may complain that its point of view has not received enough attention. . went on to Globemasters and doubtless soon will be producing Outer Space Masters. And after that? Sparing use of emphasis is a good negative rule. (What coutd be more fundamental than fundamental?) The reason no doubt i s again bureaucratic fear. A third negative rule i s not to adorn our facts or ideas with adjectives and adverbs. For example. It may also be owing to a desire to evade the inevitable impersonality that United Nations writers frequently try to slip their opinions into reports by such openings a s . nothing i s emphasized and we leave ourselven in the s a m e predicament a s the aircraft manufacturers. We cannot always do so. i s easier to read. "specially s t r e s s e d " o r even "re-emphasized". That way boredom lies. though initially harder to write. This f e a r i s unnecessary." . "fundamental" o r even "most fundamental". tariat of a regional commission finds the econoinic prospects "sombre". being directed to a hundred and fourteen nations of varying cultures and political s y s t e m s should state facts objectively. but it would be a reasonably safe bet that . even injunction. circumlocution preferable to direct statement. It i s risky to bet on Shakespeare. Overuse blunts it. Nor i s it d u e t o a d e s i r e to hedge. when the only way to secure a consensus i s to sacrifice clarity. including this onen. Nor should the writer be restricted to words long native to his country. of Shakespeare and of Calderdn would be inadequate for modern needs. This i s true of some United Nations resolutions. Whenever possible. then there i s nothing to fear but fear itself. descriptive t e r m s such a s Black Africa. We a r e almost equally certain to find that something i s "maximal" o r "minimal". Often they do not. who will soon have nu place to go. General rules a r e general only. If we have in good conscience stated the facts a s objectively a s we can.. "It i s obvious that . When we emphasize everything. That i s fetishism. Avoidance of anything which might offend the sensibilities of our readers i s a second negative rule. The vocabulary of Corneille. They began with Skymasters.
languages and cultures. but whether they a r e a s simple a s the subject will allow. The first consideration in the choice o r rejection of words i s not whether they a r e short o r long o r a r e descended from Greek o r Latin o r Arabic o r Chinese. demand technical words. no adornment! Following these rules may . It i s even harder to achieve when. much l e s s s o for those of us writing in a tongue other than our own." . by use of the word "recoveredw. It i s a hard road. This is a difficulty familiar to such memb e r s of the Secretariat a s pr6cis-writers. and only that word.000 when we have a t hand a reference book which tells us that the population i s in fact 60. It will not ensure accuracy and consistency in fact and in word. It is. THE EXAMPLE OF THE MASTERS Short plain words. a report i s written by a team of men of various nationalities. however. Recently. it i s grammatically inconsistent because "townw i s a noun and "rural" an adjective. when writing on adrabsubject. When. S O that we may say in one word all that one word can say and no more than it should say. Indeed. he is stating a fact. Definition of key words in advance will help us to achieve consistency. one member remarked that the word "access" had obviously been construed l e s s broadly by other members than he himself had construed it. including night landings".he never used the word "cadre". for example. The speaker i s face to face with his audience. Not a l l of u s a r e a s much aware of the need to check words. To sum up. mean that we should invent barbarous words like "complementarity" and "finalize" the in o r d e r to Save ~ u r s e l v e s trouble of looking for the right word that already exists.510.. Maybe it is. short sentences. His expression can be seen and the tone of his voice can be heard. the first consideration in deciding on the length of sentence o r paragraph is what the subject requires. When a United Nations resolution calls f o r information on "town and r u r a l planningw. thought andafterthought. If he says that ". ACCURACY AND CONSISTENCY General observance of general rules will help us towards clarity and conciseness. particularly team consistency. If a United Nations writer s a y s that birth rates have risen f r o m a record low in the depression of the 1930'sw. B ~ l t *. i s the one needed. The w r i t e r can offer his reader only the printed word and the word may be subject to misinterpretation if it i s not exact. SO will repetition of a word when that word. short paragraphs: No colour. But not all States Members of the United Nations would agree. obviously. Consistency i s hard for the individual to achieve. The English language of today can avoid it only by beating about the bush. All of us a r e aware of the need to check facts. . birth r a t e s have recovered from a record low he i s implying. Consistency i s that agreement between the facts o r ideas in the separate parts of awhole. Yet accuyacy in words i s more important in writing than in speaking. but always with a leaning towards the short. Some subjects.. such a s the effects of atomic radiation. most of us assume that we know exactly what a word means because we have heard o r read it a hundred times. We would not write that the population of a city is about 50. VIII.. in grammar and in ternlinology which i s necessary to ensure harmonious development of any theme. we a r e all tempted to add colour by using different words o r roundabout expressions to exp r e s s the same fact o r idea. It may be especially subject to misinterpretation when it implicitly conveys an opinion.. VII. it i s inconsistent in fact because even at night an aeroplane's landings can hardly be mistaken f o r take-offs. even for those of u s who read o r write in our mother tongue. after the International Law Commission had discussed access to the s e a at length.. All the more reason why the general phraseology in which these necessary technicalities a r e embodied should be a s simple a s possible. It can also plague specialists. A dictionary should be always at hand and consulted whenever doubt a r i s e s . /' ".that a low birth rate i s a sickness.Le best road to consistency is probably constant forethought. a United Nations publication tells us that "the students had a chance to practise many take-offs. This does not. . It i s not always so. a s happens in the United Nations.
M e n t k s does not happen. That's such a fuss To pvonounce. to the writer because he then realizes what he has to show in what follows. reasonable supposition that any Englishspeaking. Eliot wrote that: judged by the limited evidence available. through the conclusion.. Is really Asparagus. Hugo on occasion a s flamboyant a s a s c a r l e t hibiscus. The m a s t e r s of the present can be no l e s s direct. there i s no need to emphasize the co~inexio~l between one paragraph and the paragraph that precedes it. cats o r the Caucasus. We can still u s e the technique of the m a s t e r s to arouse interest in our subject.la premiQl-e fois 1 'aigle baissait sa tete. Will it not a l s o make them a s dull a s the s e r m o n s of Dr. that we usually call him just Gus. to the reader because he has an inkling of what to expect. If we have not been logical. A social report. L 'on Qtait uaincu par sa conquete. us I ought to have told you before. on the other hand. then "in this connexion" i s a fraudulent and. Francis Bacon began one of h i s essays: "God Almighty first planted a gardenw. It should be c a r r i e d through to the end. Tolstoy a s long-winded a s any lawyer. Opening sentences like this beg too many questions. S. It might need to be further qualified. is His nurne.I. If this technique i s followed. through the introduction. may be r a t h e r forbidding on the face of it." Bacon could be extravagantly verbose when currying favour. French-'speaking o r Russian-speaking member of the Secretariat would have come a c r o s s one of them in school. but while writing don't stop thinkingn. that would be a statement everyone could understand. je me Suis fait une certaine idde de la France. What does "significantlyn mean? I s it a polysyllabic variant of the monosyllabic "muchn o r just another of those meaningless United Piations adverbs'? Which a r e the "vital sectors"? HOW "limitedn was the evidence? How could we possibly judge by evidence that was not available? If. we had said that "the situation has somewhat in~proved". the first part should flow naturally tram the introduction and into the p a r t s that foIlow. GZLS the cat at the theatre door. made without benefit of subordinate clause o r passive voice. have shown u s that the contrary may be true. through the p a r t s and the paragraphs in the parts. If we begin it by saying that ." it becomes formidable. Huygens. writing in three of what a r e now the five official languages of the United Natidns.Victor Hugo began one of his poenas: "I1 neigeait. worse." A . the pact intensified it.'" =& I Sins We in the United Nations nlay be called upon to write about subjects intrinsically l e s s interesting than gardens. an unconvincing way of trying to cover a gap in the train of thought. Pino. The essential point i s the improvement. which means "speaking of other thingsn. but the qualifications could come later. G e ~ l e r a l Gaulle began h i s war memoirs: "Toute ma de vie. It i s an illuminating commentary on the comparative intellectual honesty of different nationalities that the usual French translation of "in this connexion" should be "duns un autre ordre d'idQesn.J. for example. a distinguished Dutch poet. the only recourse is either to go back to the begitmhng or to add o r subtract ideas or facts i n o r d e r to r e s t o r e the even flow. Potyomkin begins: "The Frankfurt pact did not weakell Franco-German hostility. Yet none of them was ever more effective than in these direct. If we have dealt with it in logical o r d e r .. short statements."A chapter in the Soviet "History of Diplomacy (1872-1919)n edited by V. Dryasdust? Not necessarily. But direct statement should not be confined to the beginning of a report. P.make our reports s h o r t e r . a s G u s t s name had to be qualified. Some m a s t e r s of the past. s a i d three hundred y e a r s ago: "Think before you write.' i14:d PdLb PP !/ . The subject is the connexion. and i f the o r ~ g r n aplan l was logical. A direct opening statement i s helpful to both writer and r e a d e r . On the contrary." Tolstoy began one of his short s t o r i e s : " Agentleman was serving a s an officer in the Caucasus. In this connexiun there shouldbe no "in this connexions". the last p a r t inlo the conclusion. His name was Zhilin.the situation has significantly improved in vital s e c t o r s since the p e n o d covered by the Preliminary Report a s f a r a s can be . plain. These examples f r o m the past have been chosen because it i s a . T.
The f i r s t test would be for accuracy and consistency in fact and in word. I his reading time can be cut by half an hour? that f means half an hour gained. In the early days a document prepared for a Conference on the Declaration of Death of Missing Persons turned up in mimeograph a s a document for the Conference on the Declaration of Death of Mrs. An English writer once recommended that "in composing a s a general rulen you should "run your pen through every other word you have written. The international reader has to read thousands of words a day. E r r o r s of this kind occur most often withnumbers. In United Nations reports they a r e distraction only. then our report should be subjected to a number of tests. and. however. It may still be desirable to check them again. AFTER WRITING The ideal course of action after completing a report would again be inaction. leaving it open to the reader to interpret (and s o possibly misinterpret) what we have written. of course. After these tests a check may be needed to ensure that the report provides all the information required by a resolution o r instruction. .IX. Here our colleagues in the Library o r Reference can again help. We cannot be a s drastic a s that. The something not required may not be of such political consequence. They u s e the snaffle and the curb all right. Any of u s i s almost certain to have in his mental attic words o r thoughts expressed years. the reader may find it hard to seize our point. He knew his subject well and wrote a good report. New facts may have come to light o r a situation may have changed. beautiful words perhaps. Economy in words must not. I'm with you there. just a s a judge's summing-up of evidence is necessary. It may be no more than an excess of words. They can also save u s from unconscious plagiarism. there i s little that i s new under the sun. Repetition of facts o r thoughts may be necessary in the conclusion. Repetition of words is preferable to the roundi+bout descriptive phrases beloved of the journalist. If the required number i s forty and we cut it down to thirty. likely to obscure it. It means either that we were too lazy to adapt the earlier writer's thoughts to our own theme o r that we were padding. before and unconsciously to use these words o r thoughts a s if they were his own. Some years ago a member of the Secretariat was called upon to write a report on aid given to the developing countries by Member States. Perkins. without reference to the source. Padding may be desirable in women's d r e s s e s o r football players' shoulders. Roy Campbell has expressed this difficulty well: You praise the firm restraint with which they write. But where's the bloody horse? Parsimony in words may also lead to ambiguity in meaning. But he included in it sections on aid given by States not Members of the United Nations. and especially of our own work. Reference to an e a r l i e r writer's thoughts may sometimes be necessary. is lacking. be carried to the point of parsimony. It i s assumed that all the facts used were checked before writing began and that their source was noted. but not required to make the point and. Conscious copying of an earlier writer's thoughts o r words. The test f o r accuracy should include a watch for e r r o r s that may have crept in while writing o r transcribing. that it provides nothing that i s not required. Lapse of time i s conducive to a more balanced view of everything. i s inexcusable. at least s o f a r a s that particular report i s concerned. Repetition may be desirable elsewhere f o r the sake of emphasis. even centuries. We can and should prune words that a r e not really necessary. equally important. indeed. particularly dictated words. It may be no more than an occasional excursion into byways. you have no idea what vigour it will give your style". But unnecessary repetition i s likely to make the reader think that the writer was slipshod in his writing and therefore slipshod in his thinking. It has no place in United Nations reports. A second test should be made to ensure that there is no unnecessary repetition. They can also occur with words. Byways a r e more tempting than highways and can make for an entertaining distraction in literature intended to be read for pleasure. If time. The smallest number of words required to express a given fact o r thought may be four o r forty.
a colleague should be asked to read it too. s o m e c l a r i t y and p e r h a p s s o m e life . that "the Secretary-General i s elected by the General Assemblywwithout adding "on the recommendation of the Security Council".. s o m e futile . "which is expressed in the number of persons p e r square kilometre". . but we do not have to add. if there a r e no points where the reader stops short to wonder what a passage means o r why it is there. then it i s probably logical. If it reads smoothly from beginning'to end. Writing for the United Nations i s a tough job. The following a r e some representative criticisms: 1. Advisory Committee: T h e Advisory C o m m i t t e e h a s f r e quently c r i t i c i z e d United Nations r e p o r t s in g e n e r a l t e r m s . but this lip-service h a s quite minimal implementation in the actual provisions f o r treatment. . Blond a n d 5. ... our colleague might even be asked to read a passage aloud.. Even so. . . United Natlons reports have often been severely criticized. a g r a n d j a m b r e e . 106. disheartening and thoroughly boring t a s k of reading through t h e publications of the United Nations ." 3. generally favourably disposed to t h e United Nations. parently. p. . para. polysyllabic and r e l e n t l e s s l y in Red.. In very doubtful cases. it i s leaving out a very important qualification and thus mis-stating the facts. Annex l REPRESENTATIVE CRITICISMS Like anything submitted to the public view. . P r e s s : T h e Manchester Guardian. It h a s a l s o s t a t e d (A/2403. described one of o u r r e p o r t s a s "a higgledy-piggledy m a s s of documents. Individual: abstract style Olive. Delegations may like to know that "a great diversity i s observed in the density of population". When all t e s t s have been made. 156) that documentation i n f e r i o r i n quality constitutes a lasting injury to the p r e s t i g e of the Organization-lasting because t h e r e c o r d s of international institutions a r e u s e d long after they have c e a s e d t o b e working tools. But why in Heaven's n a m e don't you r e d u c e the unwieldy length of y o u r t r e a t i s e s .. When a United Nations publication says. heavy.Lastly. apUnitedNations. we should make s u r e that we h a t e not insulted our readers' intelligence. for example. 4." Edmund Wilson "This pompous. c r o s s out the frequent repetitions and r e w r i t e the whole injecting. therapeutic and individualized objectives. well balanced and well written. For we may have our chain of thought s o c l e a r in our own minds that we leave out links needed to bring it home to the minds of others. it will be well to read the report through a s a whole. I have found much useful information in the r e p o r t s I have been using r e cently. it may result in downright e r r o r . lest exhortations to simplicity and clarity should have been followed too slavishly... F o r t h e r e m u s t b e many o t h e r s who have had t o e n d a r e t h e slow. . Delegation: T h e representative of o n e Member State des c r i b e d the following p a r a g r a p h f r o m a United Nations r e p o r t a s "excruciating ": "There is a tremendous amount of verbalization on the level of clinical. . Black. The e a r i s often more sensitive to confusion of thought than the eye. ~f possible. Finally. Individual: "1 t r u s t this is not a c r y in t h e wilderness." . of a l l t h e r e p o r t s w h i c h r e a c h e d t h e s o m e of which a r e invaluable.. in other words." 2.
2. This was thought to b e an interference in m a t t e r s which w e r e within the e s s e n t i a l domestic jurisdiction. "The p r o b l e m of is u n n e c e s s a r y . ".. T h e discovery was important enough to d e s e r v e d i r e c t the vectors live in L a k e T i t i c a c a n . All the examples a r e genuine. It is still important. Let u s do rather than be done to. Mr. statement: "The w a t e r s o f n i s unnecessary.) . T h e Committee's full title w a s 'Committee on Imp r o p e r P r a c t i c e s in the Labour and Management (my italics) Fieldn. T h e s e a t . 2. In p a r t .with accepted usage. 1.. As t h e r e is no information service.Annex II SOME LINGUISTIC ILLS AND REMEDIES 6 F u r t h e r efforts and p r o g r e s s w e r e made by t h e Adminis. a n d h a s 5.. mathematics." Accentuate the positive And one of the best ways of doingthis is to use the active voice rather than the passive whenever possible.. even without quotation m a r k s .ws view of m e m b e r s that "All the m s m b e r s thought that . T h e s e a t of t h e United Nations in Geneva. Most a r e taken from reports issued by the United'Nations in 1964. Accuracy "The ILO c o n s i d e r s it p r e f e r a b l e w ("bettern wouldbe b e t t e r ) would s a v e two words. Another s u b j e c t studied by t h e ECAFE/FAO a g r i c u l t u r a l division was the p r o b l e m of r u r a l c r e d i t . .. Although a s a g e n e r a l r u l e i t is c o n s i d e r e d p r e f e r a b l e by the ILO to a r r a n g e individual t r a i n i n g p r o g r a m m e s 10. Had the v e c t o r s lived on t h e bottom of the l a k e o r the banks that would have been worth saying. .. "passiven ineans "being done to". "Activen means "doing".. . 8. Why not "Public i n t e r e s t in t h e work of t h e United Nations h a s i n c r e a s e d n ? 3. If we a r e going to quote t h e C h a r t e r . 3. but a r e available to anyone interested. a s treaty-makers will testify." The examples ' in the following pages illustrate some of the linguistic ills mentioned in the guide and suggest some remedies. The sources have not been given. let u s a t l e a s t quote correctly. "The Secretary-General found . The c r e d e n t i a l s of t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s have b e e n examined by the Secretary-General a n d have been found t o h a v e been i s s u e d in accordance with t h e r u l e s of procedure.. I n c r e a s e d i n t e r e s t h a s been displayed by t h e g e n e r a l public in the work of t h e United Nations. that i s the Headquarters. 7. Accuracy i s conformity with truth oi. "ACC has made f u r t h e r e f f o r t s and (But even t h e active voice won't s a v e this.. 9..." . a few from P r e s s . Article 2 (7) of the C h a r t e r s a y s "essentially within the domestic jurisdictionn... say. WHO h a s discovered that the domicile of t h e v e c t o r s i s in t h e w a t e r s of Lake Titicaca. Why not s a y : "There w e r e new s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l developmentsn? Then the f i e l d s c a n l i e fallow f o r a while.. the inflow of international capital and donations d e r i v e s i t s importance f r o m the fact that "The inflow of international capital and donations i s im?ortant because . radio and other sources. X's disclosure gave a fantastic r e v e r s e twist to t h e Labour Rackets Committee's investigation. . 4. T h e European Office is in Geneva. "The ECAFE/FAO a g r i c u l t u r a l division a l s o studied r u r a l c r e d i t would s a v e s i x words. . New developments w e r e a l s o m a r k e d in t h e s o c i a l and cult u r a l fields. of the United Nations i s in New York. monthly news-letters a r e published by t h e Government. It is much more difficult to attain in linguistics than in. It was the unanirn. t r a t i v e Committee on Co-ordination during the p e r i o d under review. "The Government publishes monthly news-lettersw..." h a s examined . Some a r e from e a r l i e r United Nations reports. 1.
he would not have needed an invitation from the President. Two commas would have saved this. ignorance d the meaning (or several meanings) of words. the representative took his seat at the Council table."Bdtiment de la mission des F tats . was sentenced to five y e a r s confinement. Estimates prove that the Centre will be able to supply . Compare Article 5 of the Charter. of IAEA It recalls the famous "Report on the increased use of windpower by UNESCO"." If the representative had had "hisn seat at the Council table. 7 . He was wrong. . faulty grammatical construction. Lf the Geneva Library had said "less generally knownn. The figure supplied by the Department for this publication i s purely notional.c. As a result of the admission of new Members. which was certainly not intended. It was fundamental to the welfare of the territories. "A Member of the United Nations . The third meeting of the Expert Panel on the use of Nuclear Energy for Desalting Water of the International Atomic Energy Agency opened in Vienna today. it means that any meeting at Headquarters is more expensive than a meetingelsewhere.*)I accurate: "Le reprgsentant du .. A long parturition. 8. Article 4) In'accepted usage we become members "ofn.. Equal pay for equal work.to f preventn had been substituted for " n relation ton. the experts made it perfectly clear that within the reconstruction process under discussion world trade could no longer be governed by the automatic application cf rigid principles. The Committee declared that land alienation could not be considered solely a s an economic question. It means a guess. Accordingly. Membership in the United Nations . Any meeting outside of Headquarters i s more expensive than anywhere else due to the Secretariat arrangements. i the meaning would have been clear. This sounds a s though the intention was t e expand slum a r e a s . W... Hungarian i s not a "difficultn language. Nor could it be based on-and calculated to maintaininequality between countries. It cannot "prove" it can indicate a probability.inn clubs.. the status of women f o r the use of technical assistance experts. Ambiguity m a y be intentional.tlut English is such all elliptical language that it m ~ l s be t used with grea care. The Committee is saying that land alienation is beneficial to the territories. Of course the mission was not to the build~ng. i s only one aspect of the broader question of women's wages. it would have been more accurate. H. I A selected l i s t of materials directed to the improvement of . . (Charter. Information has been gathered on special aspects such a s measures to be adopted in relation to the expansion of slum areas . an habitual offender. . l . If this means anything. So would use of the active voice: "female attendants handed him An estimate i s an approximate calculation. the Library has had to deal with periodicals in difficult languages such a s Hungarian and Finnish. however important it may be. The French would have been longer. 10.\ 9. 5..ns Unies" -but unambiguous. a respectedhistorian. More often it is due to sloppy thinking. 5. Ambiguity An ambiguous statement is one that can be interpreted in two or more ways.. political parties... It has been noted that their chief characteristic i s their low level a s compared with those of men. . societies. .. 3.. United States Mission to the United Nations building. 7 . .... It did not mean to do so. After the royal appetite was appeased. At the invitation of the President. Prescott. In the third sentence "their" could refer to either the women o r their wages. on Montezuma. 4.. If we had said "he third meeting of the Expert Panel there would have been no ambiguity. not ". or failure to punctuate. water was handed to him by female attendants in a silver basin.4.Unis aupr6s des Nat. "Confinementn has more than one meaning. One woman. The representative of the Department said that "notionaln meant "a rough estimaten. which was certainly not the case. He took "an seat (The French a r e m o r e prend place ." 6.. Rearrangement: "water in a silver basin" would remove the absurdity. which says. 2. What does "it" in the third sentence refer to? The nreconstruction process" o r "world traden? 6. Il.
T h e c o s t of t h e s e products f a r exceeded the r e t u r n s . The b a s i c problems with which governmental action h a s t o c o p e include illiteracy. infanticide.2king u s e of s o m e of the m a s s communication media. See IflaUon. H could have said 'an ~ndrspensable e prereq~llsite. T h e Committee considered that t h e c u r e of i m m e d i a t e and obvious s o c i a l evils might be of limited importance if s t e p s w e r e not a l s o taken to r e m o v e the basic causes. habitual theft? Habitual theft i s to be deplored. 6. Substitution of another word f o r "appreciably" would have m a d e t h i s s t a t e m e n t o f fact just that. unless s h e i s a g r e a t menace. 1. 6. hospitals. Two men w e r e c r i t i c a l l y injured and five o t h e r s s u f f e r e d f r g m b r u i s e s and shock. 4. but hardly a s much a s infanticide--or even m u r d e r i n g t h e husband. . S o m e believe that "the organization which h a s i t s h e a d q u a r t e r s in New York" i s the s e n i o r m e m b e r of the family. 3. 9. but a l s o in the history of t h e refugees. This i s not only a milestone in t h e history of philately. 3 . Finally. lnsertion of the w o r d s "who had b e e n n between "anyone" and "unable" would have s a v e d this f r o m being ludicrous. and by extension c o m m e n t s s o obvious a s to induce s l e e p . We a r e not likely to be c r i t i c i z e d if we s t i c k to the commonplace. Suppression of d r u g addiction i s t h e fundamental r e a s o n f o r t h e establishment of t h e international control of narcotic drugs. Slaughter and appreciation m a k e s t r a n g e bedfellows. But the w o r s t damage w a s to traffic. Article 18: F u n e r a l aid s h a l l be provided f o r anyone unable t o maintain a minimum s t a n d a r d of living.. Schools. lmprovement of r o a d s i s a requisite* f o r r o a d t r a n s p o r t . After all. 1. 9. See 2. which prevents t h e people f r o m m. they m m e faster. above. 11. Platitudes i s the orthodox name.consequent jolt t o the mind. w h e r e slaughter r o s e appreciably f r o m the reduced l e v e l s of 1961 and 1962. especially when written pompously. B r o m i d e s a r e to be found in o u r reports. the organization which h a s i t s headquarters in New York.Anticlimax A sudden and often unconscious descent f r o m the higher to the lower. a r t g a l l e r i e s a r e built not f o r t h e i r own sake. T h e i n c r e a s e in production of pigmeat was concentrated largely in the United States. para. By half-mast i s meant the lowering of the F l a g to o n e half t h e distance between t h e top and the bottom of the m a s t . o r sudden ascent f r o m the lower to the higher. 9. Could not a truly woman's institution be e s t a b l i s h e d f o r women offenders f o r c r i m e s s u c h a s mtlrdering t h e husband. Social security benefits covering s i c k n e s s and death. J a i l i s really no place f o r a woman. 2. 5. Some peaple take r e l i g i o u s s e r v i c e s and G r e e k d r a m a s e r i o u s l y too. But it is often taken s e r i o u s l y despite that. museums. death i s t h e ultimate in social security. 10. 5. Bromides B r o m i d e s a r e d r u g s inducing sleep. B r o m i d e s a r e safe. See 2. One of t h e most important activities of any national t o u r i s t office i s promotion of the country a s a destination f o r tourists. A r e l i a b l e e s t i m a t e of population i s vital s i n c e t h e quantity of sewage contributed f r o m the a r e a t o be provided with a s e w e r a g e s y s t e m depends directly upon the population figure. T h e a s s e s s m e n t of groundwater i s dependent upon t h e amount of data available. 7. Which i s m o r e important-stampcollecting o r mankind? *We w e r e lucky. P e d e s t r i a n s c r o s s i n g F i r s t Avenue at 42nd S t r e e t a r e a h a z a r d to traffic. t h e r e i s the English huntsman's comment on a s p r i n g morning: "What a beautifcl day! L e t ' s go out and kill something. but to s e r v e specific purposes. 4. Mostly the m e m b e r governments of F A 0 a r e a l s o m e m b e r governments of the United Nations. 7. Which c o m e s first-the man o r t h e motor c a r ? T h i s i s really putting the c a r t before the horse. with a . A c h a r a c t e r i s t i c example of blood-sportsmzn's perversion. When high-powered motors a r e installed in t h e fishing boats. above. 8. making i t c o m m e r c i a l l y unfeasible t o grow them. 2. 10. An initiation into a f r a t e r n i t y i s a kind of blend between a religious s e r v i c e and a G r e e k d r a m a . 8.
seven "purviews" and a s s o r t e d "appropriates ". 9. . It was requested that a clarification be made concerning the total amount of time necessary for the training of civil servants... "Conceptsn means "philosophy "-if 12. but not in the foci. Concept: Any preventive programme must be based on a c l e a r concept of what constitutes juvenile delinquency. On other occasions they a r e likely to become deadheads. Two factors will be specially meaningful in 7." 6. 8. . Meaningful: this connexion.Ceremonial words Ceremonial words a r e suited to such occasions a s weddings. Conceptually: units it means anything. Concept gets most-favoured-word treatment in the United Nations. 10... Balanced and integrated: Developing countries of the region would have to pursue their goals of raising national income through balanced and integrated development. Focus: Of these fourfociof effort. even a choice of lighting. This has everything: aspects. . "Breakdownn i s a t e r m properly applied in psychiatry. Implement: These considerations suggest that if appropriate national and international measures a r e adopted and vigorously implemented 4. sembly. We have many deadheads in our reports. . Aspects: It i s not a matter of optimism o r pessimism. 14. "Inter aliaw is the accepted bureaucratic hedge against the possibility that we may have left out something important. 13. which a r e centraI points. Breakdown: In this document ECLA has given a breakdown of oil exports by port of entry. Clarification:.. prot~lema.. 3. o r to traffic on the New Haven Railroad. . The Committee asked how long it took to train civil servants. . In one report of fourteen mimeographed pages. Now it has become another United Nations clichC. "Im?lementedn means "carried out" o r executed. 1.a e r s who have not paid their f a r e s and s o contribute nothing to the maintenance of the line. Basic: The basic factors to be taken into consideration . . 5. 16. A survey has to be broad... the Administration may guarantee repayment of a bank loan.. "basicsn and "clarifications". for there a r e always aspects o r facets of the problem that can be viewed in either light. a s meaningless a s "meaningful ". It is conceptually convenient that the sample- "Conceptuallyn is unnecessary. There was a time when this meant something. Central: The Commission strongly emphasized the world population situation a s central to its deliberations. 2. Concepts: The Commission had to reformulate its concepts and basic philosophy for the economic development of the African continent. 17. Inter alia: Under Economic and Social Council resolution 980 A (XXXVI) the Committee was requested i n t e r alia . the first was the easiest. Noxious gases can emanate. "Meaningfulwi s either a mealy-mo~thedway of saying "im1~0rtant"-a comparatively direct word which Would commit us to an opinion--or it i s meaningless. If we said "among other t h i n g s v h e hedge would be seen too clearly. I found thirteen nimplementations". The Committee mainly discussed . a s in "a nervous breakdownn. Broad: This chapter presents a broad survey of deveIopments in teaching a b u t the United Nations. Here it msans that "ECLA has classified . The petition "camen. The Administration would surely not guarantee loans under an bappropriate ordinance. Centre: The Committee's discussion centred mainly on the rate of progress in the Territories. In this c a s e why not a "clear definitionn? 11. "Basic factorsn i s nothing. which in railroad parlance means passen. In other United Nations reports we have had "basic pillarsN-probably the most original architectural innovation of the twentieth century. The Commission thought that the growth of world population was very important. 15. There might be degrees of ease in the effort. Emanate: The Administering Authority said that the petition emanated from a prohibited organization. Appropriate: Under appropriate ordinances. funerals and the opening of the General As. facets.
20.. A "field of water resourcesw? Rice paddies? 8. especially when applied to a phenomenon. Things can be relevant. mainly theft. The number of true cases of crime. Here "partw would be shorter. education.. 1. .18. has increased msderately from 427 in 1947 to 516 in 1957. has continued to take in the field of the anti-erosion struggle". not a crime. . A s used here. persons not. 5. . why not "for"? 6 Technical assistance in the broad field of economic planning .. For "broad" s e e "Ceremonial words". 11. and. 2.. Perhaps because a great part of their life is bounded by s t e e l and concrete. In the field of those aspects of water resources which influence hydro-power development . Consistency Consistency is agreement between the separate parts of a whole. Significant: F a r m s of this type constitute a highly sighificant phenomenon in some countries. In the field of commercial and office employees the wage was further reduced. Here all the representative wanted to know was the Rapporteur's opinian. "field" deserves special mention. in the facts and the order of statement of them. . Including the shepherd? In many countries theft i s a misdemeanour.nconsisteticy. is being strengthened Another im?ortant feature in the broad field of economic development .. 7 . why the "strugglew? 4. Japan and the Soviet Union 3. a s in "this portion of the news i s presented by Bubblegum". in granimatical usage. Reaction: The representative said that he would like to know the Rapporteur's reaction to the proposal.. Fields Among United Nations ceremonial words... a s the second and last examples show. 1. ". Portion: The bad weather in the early portion of the y e a r exerted a generally depressing effect on output in Europe. differential . "Overallw i s properly applied in the plural to the kind of clothes we wear when tinkering with the car. Why the "fieldn? Also. Again. Naylor knows more about sheep than anyone e l s e in the field. Some people might consider that an increase of nearly 20 p e r cent was not moderate. 19.. This one has everything but "concepts". He referred to the progress achieved in the Territory in the fields of nutrition. In addition. especially.. where it generally implies a violent response to a stimulus. 22. Perhaps the broadcaster was thinking of Potter's Field. Overall: Over-all progress in the field of industrialization. And that's the story in the funeral field. 21. This word i s at home in chemistry. United Nations writers love fields and find them in the most unlikely places. in terminology. In other fields offering also a great degreeof similarity . o r a scrap.. In the field of water resources a number of im.. Relevant: The question has been referred to the relevant authorities in the Territory. Here a r e some examples f . a s in American restaurants. These fields offer also a great degree of verbosity. No comment. which i s by definition extraordinary. United Nations activities in the field of prevention of c r i m e and treatment of offenders . a s in jet aeroplanes. They a r e no worse in this respect than P r e s s and radio.. Here it means "generalw (which i s s o general a s to be unnecessary). .. water supply and public health. the word endows the authorities with an unflattering neuterness. Why not "for" instead of " in the field ofw? k ~ o r t i o n can mean an overfilled plate. physics. the International Development Association gave assistance in the field of sewage This concluded a report on a governmental inquiry into "The high cost of dyingw. 9.. : in nietaphors. . and better.prtant advances were made. Mrs.. mechanics and the like. Two "generalsw would get rid of two "broad fields". "Significant" i s second cousin to "meaningful" and about a s meaningful. Why not omit "the fields ofw? 10.
s k i p s p a r t of w h a t h a s been w r i t t e n o r d i c t a t e d . 8. and in view of the prevailing very low yields p e r h e c t a r e associated with extremely inadequate applications of fertilizers to g r a i n production. . A f r e q u e n t s i d e . e v e n r e l a t e d f a c t s o r i d e a s . f r o m which c:-ttle a r e at p r e s e n t virtually excluded. "More manpower and l e s s machineryn would be m o r e consistent. i s that of the control of the t s e t s e fly... t h e r e s u l t is a t w o r s t t o . ." . While this i s primarily a problem affecting Africa. 1. 7. but could enable human trypanosomiasis to be eliminated. (b) the control of the t s e t s e fly would not only make l a r g e a r e a s m o r e fully available f o r agricultural production. but .I1 nothing will be lost. . London Bridge i s falling down. the single word "illegitimate" wouldcover "bornout of wedlockn. If we stop a t "small". it a p p e a r s to us to warrant special attention f o r a t l e a s t t h r e e r e a s o n s : (3i t affects very l a r g e a r e a s of potentially productive land in Africa.. a t least in grammatical consistency.. O r perhaps h e l e t the advertising manager take o v e r ? An organization subsidized by the manufacturers f o r lobbying against child labour and thd minimum wage. A question deserving of United Nations attention. . A petty offence in most c o u n t r i e s i s not a c r i m e . m a k e o u r w r i t i n g u n i n t e l l i g i b l e . but hardly concerning m a r r i e d women. . bdt according to t h e i r own particular background and experience. will m e m b e r s please r e c o r d any change in the a d d r e s s t o which t h e magazine should be sent.. We might have expected the e d i t o r of OXFORD to be an educated man.. and then begin "Instead they choose according .2. Why not "The f i r s t r e a s o n i s that second.yn o r "urban and r u r a l " would have been cons i s tent. and the avaiiability of a combined domestic and exp o r t market. Firstly. 10. wage An organization lobbying against the m i n i m ~ l m would b e unlikely t o lobby against child labour. L e t us leave c r a m m i n g t o s t u d e n t s in t e l e p h o n e b o o t h s . m e m b e r s have promised to work separateIy and together . T h e s e countries a r e studies a s a group f o r t h r e e reasons. A m o r e important r e a s o n why l a r g e r manpower an@:less machinery a r e emnloyed in this region i s the imperative nec e s s i t y to find employment opportunities f o r t h e people. . 3. Besides. At the very time when m o d e r a t e s m o s t desperately need to m e e t on t h e level and p a r t on t h e s q u a r e . Even a p a r t f r o m the m e a s u r e s designed to bring about an improvement in the management of f a r m s . t h e r e a r e fewer and fewer bridges a c r o s s the widening gulf. the s o u r c e and cost of s u c h imported material and s p a r e p a r t s a s cannot be made domestically..e f f e c t is t h a t t h e t y p i s t o r s t e n o g r a p h e r .. Finally. T h e fourth problem in the field of food supplies. but would be m o r e consistent. we could stop at "output" and begin a new sentence with "In view of . Apart f r o m petty offences. the considerable inc r e a s e s in t h e supply of f e r t i l i z e r s envisagedfor the forthcoming y e a r s s e e m c e r t a i n t o r e s u l t in a substantial i n c r e a s e in output. " r u r a l " an adjective. both of which a r e very small. u n d e r s t a n d a b l y . a t b e s t t o s l o w d o w n our r e a d e r s . They do not make the choice according to the availability of domestic m a t e r i a l s and the s t a t e of the domestic market.. 2. In the second place.. Relations b'etween m o t h e r s and children born out of wedlock. in line with o t h e r vectors (for exam?le. third. the possibility of acquiring technical know-how f r o m abroad. t h e r e i s little c r i m e . 6. the availability of labour and its potential f o r training to the level of skill required. 4. Again. The C h a r t e r (Article 56) gives the opposite o r d e r . "Town and countl." 9. 3. . and (9the problem should. It would not b e s h o r t e r . be amenable to scientific study and solution if sufficient r e s o u r c e s could be allocated to it. T o e n s u r e that y o u r copies of OXFORD r e a c h you regularly. He i s obviously not... We strongly u r g e that high priority be given not only to such scientific studies. Town and r u r a l planning Cramming W h e n w e a t t e m p t t o cram t o o m a n y f a c t s or i d e a s . " l a r g e r manpowern suggests Gulliver in Brobdingnag. 5. . the steep r i s e in the supply of f e r t i l i z e r s may enable the country t o expand its agricultural production a t significantly h i g h e r r a t e s than might be achieved by a m o r e highly developed agriculture.. to which we u r g e that s p e c i a l attention should be given.. i n t o o n e s e n t e n c e or one p a r a g r a p h . "Town i s a noun. Also.. t h e mosquito). Under the United Nations C h a r t e r .
history..stop at "useful results" and begin again could with "They noted We should separate "one deleby a new sentence. After the instead of "as did we could begin. had lost ground to bilateralism in external financing. but a C Q U U $ ~ ~ is with a language. leave out "and that ". or a r e implied. several delegations considered that the meeting had produced useful results and noted with satisfaction that the secretariat would report to the next session of the Committee the results of its inquiries into practical ways of further prom ~ t i n ginternational technical co-operation in this field. T o o m u c h r e s t r a i n t c a n a l s o b e a s i n . on the other. it was agreed (hat such movements should be encquraged among the developing countries. The writer here has attempted to separate his ideas b c. A s regards regional economic integration movements. with due regard for the special features of the countries concerned... in spite of the advantages it offered." 6. the textile market might expand still further in consequence of the increasing efforts to promote a more balanced regional and personal distribution af income. entomologists.. he would have been more readable. and begin a third with "The scope o f ." 5.. When w e l e a v e out w o r d s t h a t a r e needed only t o c o m p l e t e a g r a m m a t i c a l c o n s t r u c t i o n . held in Geneva in 1962." Ellipsis O u r g r e a t e s t s i n is l a c k of r e s t r a i n t i n the u s e of w o r d s .. a s did also the United Nations proposal that the industrialized countries should contribute 1 p e r cent of their GNP to the developing countries and that multilateralism. . ..". engineers with teaching experience. leave out the unnecessary "sincen." .. by (_a).. 4. on the one hand.". actuaries and statisticians.leave out "andn and begin a third sentence we should notonly save with "On the other hand the reader's breath. the programme would be gradual in its execution and slow to yield results in the shape of improved productivity. "Although" i s an unnecessary and indeed wrong conjunction. 8. employment objectives experts. and that mechanisms should be promoted whereby payments could be facilitated. and. The sentence would read better: ~Czechoslovakiais the ." We . with "On the one hand and continue to "productivity ". begin a second sentence with "Mechanisms and end it with "financedn. it appears that difficulties in finding and attracting qualified experts a r e really serious in certain specialities only. In practice. J e s p e r s e n h a s ' g i v e n a classic e x a m p l e of e l l i p s i s : "If the baby d o e s not t h r i v e o n r a w m i l k . .. but would the reader from breathlessness. particularly. "It was also pointed out " This would add a few words. We could also skip "As regards . . This should be three sentences. boil it. 7." 1. geography. although it i s not unduly short.. although language requirements add appreciably to the problem. Czechoslovakia is the only centrally-planned economy which i s a full member of GATT. We could stop at the first "concernedn. I t m a y s t i l l c a u s e the r e a d e r t o s t o p and go b a c k in o r d e r t o m a k e s u r e t h a t h e h a s understood. We could at each of "the developing countriesn.... This stop first also that save . With respect to development financing.. to recruit experienced planning advisers. and specialists in various branches of aviation. t h e s i n is venial.. "between the countries concerned and thereby saving ten words and making "hinder o r the whole passage c l e a r on the f i r s t reading. the first stopping at "specialities onlyn and the second at "aviationn. Note the relief which the second sentence brings. If we were to stop at "as indicated aboven. since. and trade between the countries concerned could be financed: the scope of such integration movements should be fully understood by the industrial countries." .. . it i s difficult. accelerated training experts. . . it was pointed out that the present levels of external financial co-operation fell short of the needs of the developing countries. . gation . begin a second sentemce Cze~hoslovakia not just an economy. the magnitude of the manpower displacement problem which might derive from the implementation of a modernization and re-equipment programme for the spinning and weaving industries might not prove as great a s indicated above. We should also bring out more clearly the opposition between the one hand and the other. .." . From these studies. "So did after the second. one delegation indicated that such co-operation was of special importance in view of the findings of the reappraisal of European timber trends and prospects. (J and ( J Lf he had also adopted the simple b device of indenting (a).". econon~ists in special fields.. Regarding the colloquium on the economic aspects of the production and utilization of fibreboard and particle-board.. culture. . could be made into three sentences. and they should not take any action to hinder o r counteract those movements. (J and (g) and making each a sub-paragraph.equally to the subsequent measures needed to apply the results on the necessary scale.".
publicity d i r e c t o r of the Mets baseball team.. the island off the coast of Africa A r e a r r a n g e m e n t in two sentences would make this clear: . . .. These replies c o m e f r o m a wide variety of regions. The journalist's excuse i s the need for haste. 3.. any m e m b e r of the division c a n produce we would not have implied that he was being subjected to the third degree.. Liberty. It would also have' been m o r e consistent by using the noun "men" instead of the adjective "ma:en. the Group agreed thatthey were e x t r e m e l y valuable a s a guide to Governments. 6.K. T h e r e must b e hundreds of s u c h islands and the c o a s t of Africa i s many thousands of m i l e s long.. . When properly r e s e a r c h e d . Substitute "the projections" f o r "they" and the meaning becomes quite c l e a r . The way this sentence i s constructed. Replies cannot in fact.of the m a l e r a t e s . He will . What the people would d e s i r e . Latest r e p o r t s s a y that the rebels have been decimated t o t h e extent of 5 0 per cent. T h e r e i s much good writing in the P r e s s . The output of m e t a l products outside the centrally planned countries was about 4 p e r cent higher in 1963 than in 1962.. 11 "Off the coast of Africa" i s u s e l e s s a s a description. a r e paid two t h i r d s If this s e n t e n c e had read of the r a t e s paid to men". o r not... . Louis Malle h a s signed Tony Perkins to s t a r in a Joseph Conrad y a r n . they could not s h a r e it. and possibly introduce 5. Rebel l e a d e r s have declared that u s e of f o r c e b y the Government would bring about a popular revulsion of feeling. T h e r e i s no reason why the people should not b e given an opportunity t o e x p r e s s t h e i r views a s to whether o r not they d e s i r e unification of both s i d e s of the border. See 1. I found something (not even somebody) "spearheading" something in a United Nations r e p o r t that had been long in preparation." 3 Following an examination of long-term projections f o r all . but r a r e l y a r e . This i s understandable. 10. 4. What c o u r s e ? We will have with u s Tom Meany.". but ungainly and ungrammatical.. Women employed in industry in the t e r r i t o r y a r e generally paid two-thirds. 5. i t would have been longer . 1. i s unification of the land on both s i d e s of the border. i t could mean that the "fats and o i l s n were valuable. Western Europe. isn't Tony somewhat wasted on Joseph Conrad? 8. but h e r e grammatically do. The whole country r e m a i n s taut with tension. It will not s e r v e u s when we imitate him. Enemies by the wayside: I. Taut i s tense and vice versa. . T h i s i s a lallapalooza. Generally the s t a t u s of women i s the s a m e a s women in the U. "the s a m e a s that of women 2. Africa and Asia. ". 4. . and include countries in North America and Latin America. "centrally planned". team." a centrally planned economy 9. any m e m b e r of the division can produce a study of value to the Committee. Countries c a n be. . T o decimate means t o take ten (not 50) p e r cent. "include" countries. Zanzibar. We should have s a i d . Unless they do a lot of imaginative rewriting. Press If we had s a i d "when he has properly r e s e a r c h e d his subject. If i t were not common. more bad.. 2. fats and oils.only country with which . 6. . ".. Ethiopia and Somalia s h a r e a common frontier. who will give us an i n t e r e s t i n g talk and possibly s o m e m e m b e r s of the team... Let u s not tell t h e m they a r e going to get lung c a n c e r on the basis of cigarette smoking. The day after I had found three different persons "spearheading" t h r e e different things in Life magazine. 7. Such a c o u r s e might s a v e u s very red faces in the n e a r future.. " A revulsion of popular feeling" would have made t h i s c l e a r and c o r r e c t . above.but c l e a r e r and l e s s awkward.
2. Since the abortive attempt to overthrow the government. See 6. when refused. After an exhaustive study of a l l the relevant facts and f i g u r e s .7. generally with reason. Suppose a friend told you that yesterday your favourite symphony had been played on this station and you had m i s s e d it. "Impactw i s a sledge-hammer. this was s a i d on one of the usually m o r e s e d a t e radio stations. Quoted in Vie et langage) ~ . Following the interception. h a s just sold his 15. Jack C r a i g . irrelevance. of metaphors. After the usual p l e a s a n t r i e s o v e r thick. incidentally. What mental agony you would suffer! Yet t h i s mental agony could b e avoided if you subscribed to o u r P r o g r a m m e Guide. the P r i m e Minister has been s e a r c h i n g everywhere f o r a scapegoat t o blunt the edge of popular dislike of the s y s t e m .Effortsn can fail: they cannot b e refused. such a s inaccuracy. Along with i t s undeniable virtues. the conversation drifted to politics. that "what i s not c l e a r i s not F r e n c h w . This i s inexplicable. ( F r e n c h neKtsp. Inaccurate u s e of words and ellipsis. 12. euphemism. "Readingn i s verbiage. a Committee on Committees in the U. the tension in the atmosphere m u s t h e dispelled. Is "initial and finaln the beginning of the end o r the end of the beginning? How deep a r e c r i s e s "in depthm? 11.. . wrong o r d e r of words. 8. it has many faults. 10. The tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean . Shades of Patrick Henry! Enemies by the wayside: II. .S. but the third l a r g e s t island in the world. This has been s a i d hefore. 4. sometimes sheer idiocy. "is beingw. "-izing" i s apparently not a United Nations monopoly.- nAbsolutely s i m i l a r " means "the s a m e " . Its directives a r e r e g i s t e r e d within the framework of a general policy which h a s an integrated c h a r a c t e r : i t s purpose be in^ both initial and final. The coffee. the radio is inescapable. m o s t r e q u e s t s being f o r Crucifixion and Last Supper scenes. was thick and sweet. work" would be to0 3.000th picture. 1. in fact i s being currently s a i d now by many people. T h e r e h a s been an interruption in the telephone s e r v i c e and s o we have no m o r e news concerning the earthquake. not a calling card. Mr. And those a r e the developments in that story. the c r i s e s demanding. ahove. Floods in Madagascar have caused extensive damage to c r o p s and heavy loss of life. Obviously t h e r e a r e e x c e p tions. mixing 9. Even with "failedn t h e word "theyw would b e needed a f t e r "whenw. t h e r e must b e a wide s u r v e y of the h ~ i i z o nand viewpoints m u s t b e exchanged a t the Heads of Government level before the Heads of State meet in a conference at the summit. 8.lper. which is s h o r t e r . Unbelievable a s i t sounds. Radio Like advertising. In o r d e r to o v e r c o m e them. 5 . verbosity. The ceremony was m a r r e d by University students shouting "long live liberty!" The President explained to h i s distinguished visitor that this was a communist slogan. i t s attention a r e in depth. eggs. 9. Congress. though this y e a r portraits of the Beatles have been in demand. Madagascar i s not a "tiny island". a coal m i n e r and spnre-time a r t i s t . All his pictures a r e painted on hardboiled. 7. "Currentw and %own a r e unnecessary. It i s also not "in the middle of the Indian Oceanw. the House Committee on Committees h a s reached absolutely s i m i l a r conclusions. He would be m o r e likely to blunt the knife. The French s a y . not the cups. diplomatic relations w e r e broken off with London. The President was questionized by t h e p r e s s a t the a i r p o r t . "The firing mechanism did obvious a way of saying this. tautology. T h e r e i s . a l a r g e explosion in the a i r was heard. "Isn i s "currentn and "now". a s in the last example but one. Efforts were m a d e to persuade Britain to allow Somali a r e a s of Kenya to join Somalia before Kenyan independence and. 6. The c u r r e n t temperature reading is now 40 degrees. but I d o n o t know that it leaves much impact on those t o whom i t i s addressed. s w e e t cups of Turkish coffee. . "currentlyw and "nown a r e one and the s a m e thing. How could any developments b e known when t h e r e was no news? no^ A malfunction developed in the firing mechanism.
Buy now. I believe it i s the Commission's p r a c t i c e to recommend a limited p r o g r a m m e of work f o r the completion of which it vons i d e r s sufficient funds can be ohtained. particularly s i n c e t h e Bible continues to rank a s t h e all-time best seller..' It i s doubtful. n T u e ~ l t y originiil. actually horrifying. "Budget plann i s known officially in s o m e c o u n t r i e s a s the instalment s y s t e m . 6. whether advertising has evzr been s o meretricious a s today. . Iiut a s s e v e r y a r t ought to he e x e r c ~ s e d due s u b o r d ~ n a t l o rtu the p111111c. Ttrs coffee-er coffee." This i s from a prepared speech delivered in the Social Commission. Advertising 8. to try to e x p r e s s ourselves perfectly in a language not our own. 5. It-naturallv-ev. . p h r a s e : "Yours today. I a m s u r e we could improve on them. Johnson d ~ d r l t e two hundred y e a r s ago: 'The trade of a d v e r t ~ s r n ~ : w 1 now s o near perfecuon. T e s t s proved The Bank's thrifty s e r v i c e s . of English-speaking countriesAustralia. F r o m a report on teaching allout the United Nations. u No d o u t ~ t e shall soon have wcoffee-est" uuflee. Moslem J a i n temple. A c r y p t i c notice once f a m i l i a r on New York buses. The contribution of I s r a e l to Western culture.ides the point. "there's always been an ad manw--at least since the days of Herculaneum and Pompeii. English of the English-speaking This r i g m a r o l e i s f r o m an advertisement f o r a Cunard Line Mediterranean c r u i s e . I i a r ~ n i ~ t but propose I [ a s a rrioral question to t h e s e m a s t e r s of the [ ~ u h l ~ a r .~mageto health. You will he s e r v e d complimentary lobster t a i l s and filet mignon. whether they d o ec not sornetlmes play too wantonly. Canada. 2.ient funds to complete even the limited p r o g r a m m e if recommended. tailored by the people of the islands themselves. 9. This can only mean that :he radio station d o e s not t r u s t i t s own clocks. The aeroplanes a r e a l s o equipped with r a d a r . It's r e a l beer. safety second. n ))it of old Holland on a tropical isle. Indeed they are-for the bank. New Zealand. i t .10. The s a m e idea i s e x p r e s s e d in the would-be comforting. an exotic Hindu mosclue. calling i t a discount r a t e of 4 p e r cent and hoping you will not know the difference. It is sometimes discouraging. need no elaboration. It will c h a r g e you 1 1 p e r cent i n t e r e s t . So u'ould a 10. In ~ good.. y e a r s to pay. . 7. F o r the s a k e of. . hrevity the Government gives a brikf and f a r f r o m exhaustive description . It m e a n s : "Don't spend your money on taxis. T r y o u r budget plan. To paraphrase a familiar headline. United States (not in that order). This was heard ad nauseam a t the t i m e of t h e U. The word " r e a l w i s introduced to disguise the chemical-metallic tliste.* 1. Stomach f i r s t . 3.S. I r e p e a t [they a l u a y s 1101: No medical evidence h a s proved that o u r [cigarette] f i l t e r c:luses any cl. The statements below were made by well-educated natives." 4. s i n c e i t r e a l i z e s that it would b e unwise t o recommend a p r o g r a m m e which coultl not b e completed through lack of funds if t h e r e w e r e not sullic. Enemies by the wayside: Ill. popularly a s the "nevernever plann-because you never s t o p paying. A quaint Spanish chapel. But take heart. Drink o u r beer. however. Go bus and save.~ggrr. always difficult. A' Hindu mosque would indeed he exotic.:~tion the of low fee.' 3 As the d e t a i l s a r e h a m m e r e d out and the outlines e m e r g c . XYZ t i m e i s 7 o'clock. c a n b e s e e n that above a l l e l s e it i s an individual solution. England. It needs no comment. Spend it in the shops instead.. Surgeon-General's report on the h a z a r d s of c ~ g ~ ~ r e t t e smoking. 2. exemplified by David's Tomb and t h e village of Nazareth. that I[ I S not e a s y ro p r o p x e any Improverllent. in twenty thous:~ncl leading dental c a l l e g e s have Probably written by a broken-down hack f o r a very thousandw i s a n ex. 'Although Dr. 1. The tailors in the islands w e r e probably used to making suits of a r m o u r .
a prize Scottish bull whose owner was hoping t o s e l l him for a large s u m when the axe fell. The a i m i s the production of low-cost housing within the economic possibilities of the lower-paid population... but it makes the poor sound a s though they w e r e s t r u n g together in a chain gang.1 There will be a radical change in the whole s y s t e m of govern. This euphemistic jargon may b e useful to the econom i s t . . Thus in England impoverished genteel families never take in "lodgers". The s y s t e m i s being given a t r i a l and it i s being tried in an experimental fashion. 6. . The people of this country a r e very proud of the impact and the m a r k that Robert F r o s t has made 9. The island i s characterized by an economic environment which i s largely of a s e r v i c e nature. Euphemism Euphemism i s the use of a supposedly pleasing expression o r word in place of the plainer o r more accurate word. All the members of the Commission felt that t h e i r emoluments w e r e f a r f r o m proportionate to the important s e r v i c e s they performed. the report discloses a l e s s favourable financial picture. 5. the homes musthave been their own. It makes for pomposity and eventually results in a creeping paralysis of expression a s today's euphemism develops into tomorrow's cliche. Ferdinand has suffered a surgical separation which will deprive him f o r e v e r of the possibility of achieving fatherhood. The precipitation probability i s 30 p e r cent. which was mainly concerned with killing rats. 7. 4.. The representative stated that Nauru presented a "special and unique difficulty" because of the resettlement problem. but shorter. "Dog-Catcher" would have expressed this officer's duties m o r e briefly and m o r e simply. . When it can be avoided. ". "Trial" i s "experimentw o r vice versa. What they meant. 2. Generally. While noting the smooth running of UNEF. was that they wanted m o r e money. 8. The Honourable Member i s guilty of a terminological inexactitude. 3. . ment a s the old tribal s y s t e m i s transformed gradually-and i t must be gradual-into a modern s y s t e m of government. If Ferdinand had been a cat. People in the lowest economic bracket will suffer most. he would have been "alteredw--another euphemism. F r o m a report to the Trusteeship Council. 1. Presumably means that the island's economy depends mainly on provision of services. "Uniquen i s extra-special. it should be. Sad end to the story of Ferdinand. of course.. It recalls the wartime "Directorate of infestation controlw in the British Ministry of Food. It will be amply sufficient if the abridged account i s made available. All the m e m b e r s of the t r i b e own their own homes. but sometimes take in "payingguests". the second comparatively weak. The Commissioner himself has taken personal charge of the project. housing that the lower-paid population can affordm would be s h o r t e r and more direct than "within the economic possibilitiesw. This may be accepted jargon. 11. This quotation f r o m a representative's speech suggests that linguistic infection works two ways : "impactn i s one of the Secret a r i a t ' s favourite ceremonial words. "Sufficientn would be "amplen. 8 The canine control officer's duties will include .. Lf they owned their homes. Euphemism can be an unavoidable consequence of courtesy. The Honourable Member had told a lie. 10. What must be gradual-the s y s t e m o r the transformation? 5. Who but "the Commissioner himselfn could take "personal" charge? 7. the f i r s t i s strong. The "less favourable financial picturen was in fact very unfavourable. but it sounds a s though the weather forecaster was offering odds against the the chance of rain. it i s practised by people who wish to make it c l e a r that they a r e not part of the common herd. F r o m a r e p o r t on a Paclfic Territory. but parliamentary practice would not alIow such direct statement. Either "impactn o r "markw. 6.
. It i s significant that it was in this period of change that the Commission began to take a direct interest in the subject Here "it iswhas bred: "it is" and "it wasw. All this strongly underlines the urgent need forinternational measures . In conclusion it must be re-emphasized that equal pay for equal work. With respect tothe former.. 3. fundamental... thereby saving seven words? The crucial problem of developing the production of local materials was stressed . it did not have to be stressed. have risen extremely rapidly in most 8. 2. Senior citizens will be the first to be affected. ... and consequently the athat".... Stress i s already RspecialR. T o put it in United Nations language. lnf lation Many e c o n o m i s t s disapprove of monetary inflation."sentences . all but one w e r e taken f r o m r e c e n t economic r e p o r t s .. 11. 4. Why was "it" significant? Why could we not leave out the first six words. The response of Jamaica lays special s t r e s s on unemployment and under-employment. above. . It i s highly significant that there has been a very large growth of power demand. It may be recalled that a preliminary assessment of this nature was presented to the second session 'It may be recalled that" i s verbiage. more fundamental. See 7. especially when the need i s urgent. o r to e x p r e s s i o n of personal opinion. i s only one aspect of the broader question of women's wages. Imports of coffee recent years. Farm output fluctuates rather violently in response to changing weather conditions.9.. It i s hardly surprising that the issue of African association with the EEC has been one of the Commission's most dominant problems. 6.. It i s important to realize. 1.. If the point has already been emphasized. "It is (or may be) . "EmphasizedR is enough. a venial sin. 10. He would have done better to find the right word. How much larger than large i s "very largeu? 12.. . . Of'the ten e x a m p l e s below. How extreme i s wextremelyw? 9.. The reform of land tenure was among the most fundamental problems of economic development. however important it may be. 1. "restatedR would be enough. it was stressed in the course of the Meeting that an indispensable prereyisite for the attainment of a system which met the needs of all developing countries was the complete abolition of the discriminatory preferences A "prerequisiten i s by definition indispensable. How many degrees a r e there-most fundamental. The Mission was glad to note that special emphasis had been put on the development of co-operatives Emphasis i s "special". 2. 7.. Some e c o n o m i s t s in the United Nations are given to v e r b a l inflation. "It i s " s e n t e n c e s are r i s k y f o r the international civil s e r v a n t . unfundamental? 3. . If the problem was Rcrucial". They may lead him into verbiage... v e r b a l inflation i s among the economists' "most fundamental" s i n s . They will judge for themselves whether o r not something i s important.. "SignificantR i s already high. however. .. It should be particularly emphasized that scientific and technological planning . "Senior citizens" implies that plain old age is a disgrace. 5. This i s an example of a writer's being conscious of overstatement with the word "violentlyR and of his trying to rectify the overstatement by qualifying the "violentlyw with "ratherw... . uAbolition" i s by definition complete. . that the validity of such estimates depends on the achievement of a rather high degree of accuracy Who decided that it was "important to realizew?We should not instruct our masters. a c a r d i n a l s i n ... Underlining i s strong enough by itself.
4. edited by the Secretariat. Jargon: Bureaucrats' We a r e s o accustomed to the jargon around u s that we sometimes forget how much we ourselves contribute to it and how much we use it between ourselves. But both wbasicn and "normallyn could have been omitted. summed up in the dangerous tendency f o r the income gap between the developed and the l e s s developed count r i e s to widen.. This may mean that "we will t r y toensure that enough copies will be sent to Mexico City before the Press i s informedn. towards the end of the year. and from the more or l e s s a r b i t r a r y r a t e s used f o r converting national currencies Both in the impending extrusions to the Conference Building and in any new building .. It should be added. We must not patronize our readers. I s t h e r e a hernia specialist in the house? . to hope that this dip in the curve lay behind. 3. some of the smaller industrial producers showing continued gains. 2. of the sample and the population with respect to one o r more control variates provides no guarantee that the sample i s representative I think this means that members of the division must increase their knowledge. In all other cases. Air transport by a direct route shall normally be regarded a s the basic standard. there was reason. 3. Members of the division must sharpen their backgrounds. The calculations included the cost of services. All the long-term e c o n o n ~ i c probl e m s remained. "Normallyw i s "standardn and "standardn i s "basicw. If it i s obvious. Presumably means: "Get to the office on time and work hardw. This beats anything United Nations bureaucrats have done. The structure of pay in the Civil Serviceis characterized by a consistent application of the principle of equal pay f o r equal work. Then. 7. in connection with the relativity inherent in the t e r m nproductivityn. then we do not need to say so. the up-sloping edge of the nsaucerwof Japan's cycle apparently reached o r passed. a s a member of the Office of Personnel explained.5. It i s obvious that there i s no unitary indicator available . See 4. It means that "the principle of equal pay f o r equal work was consistently applied in the Civil Servicew. Calculations on a service-inclusive concept would probably reveal about the s a m e rate of growth. industrial capacity (if not yet output) clearly on the r i s e in India. the clouds appeared to be lifting-with better food crops in sight in a number of countries. This was a government reply. above. 1. particularly when productivity in various s e c t o r s o r in various countries i s being compared.. of the publications. above. and the p r e s s release. 7. to a United Nations questionnaire. that exact comparison between the productivity of various units of labour i s possible only when i t s volume i s measured in homogeneous terms. The intention was admirable. Jargon: Economists' . 2. 4. 1. The sociologists' jargon i s probably the worst. only apparent productiviryincorporating differences in the evaluation of the product in various branches o r countries resulting from specific characteristics and variations in price structure. Economists run a close second. 8. was to leave a loophole f o r exceptional cases. Clearly i t i s desirable that stable trading conditions should be established f o r a s long periods a s possible.. The intention. It i s c l e a r that the scale on which the c ~ m p e n s a t o r y principle might be applied may be varied very widely. however elaborate. 5. however. This passageway [in a Government building] has been made non-conducive to utilization for an indefinite period.. But why the "conceptn when nbasiswwould have s e r v e d a s well and would have sounded l e s s fuzzy.. See 4. It i s important to realize that the matching. It i s expected that staff will not fall short of the highest standards in regard to punctuality and to achieving a high level of'work output. If the desirability i s clear. then we do not need to s a y so. The contents of your memoranda of 5 and 25 July were ref e r r e d fully to Mexico City in an effort to avoid o r minimize any future situations of disparity between the availability. 6. Back to Omar Khayyam: A wake! for Saucers in the Dip of Sight Have flung the Curve that put the Clouds to Flight.
Practical realization of these payoffs i s dependent upon our recognizing the unique capabilities in the field and developing (inventing perhaps) the applications that make them useful. 4. 1.. wbasicsn. invented more jargon than other specialists. "conceptsu. we should be a s easily understood and not suspected of equating men with the animals in the Chicago stockyards. strongly influenced by institutional factors and arbitrary decisions. As the context shows. second sentence: "practicalw i s tautological: third sentence: verbiage. In astronautics much of the payoff is likely to lie in the doing of new kinds of things. . 3.into dollars o r other units of measurement-can b e taken into consideration. The picture revealed is one of afield very much in i t s infancy. A space weapon will make no real contribution to defense unless i t i s accompanied by a clear concept of useful employment-an innovation in military science must be sought in some cases. 8.. The imagination boggles a t a very infant field. He meant that what followed was largely guesswork. what was meant was that the quantity of "dispensable imports" was small. A high input of manpower i s required. Jargon: Scienti sts' We might have expected scientists to be a s exact in the use of words a s they must be in the use of figures. But why the capsules and the concepts? 6.. Jargon: Sociologists' Because the social scientists a r e comparative newcomers.. Let's hope that the fair hair will not become muddied in the morass. This does not mean that under such conditions the t e r m productivity becomes meaningless: i t is only a demonstration of its limitations f o r measuring and comparing the results'of human activities in countries with highly different pricestructures. Quantitatively. Also. To take it sentence by sentence: f i r s t sentence: "payoffn i s a vulgarism for "profitn. This presumably means that no single factor suffices to a s s e s s levels of living. even when i t reveals a picture. fifth and sixth sentences: bromides (q. the o r d e r of magnitude was in any case small. 5. .. fusion work has now been forced partly out into the open by political considerations. "Magnitudew and wsmallwdo not s i t well together. they have. The economic nexus between the Great Powers of Western Europe and the New World By the beginning of the U.v. If we said "much labour i s needed".. With i t s short-term prospects exaggerated through ignorance born of the cloak of secrecy in whichit has been wrapped. Development Decade the links had been largely broken o r at least severely modified The establishment of new industries may lead to increased external economies through the interindustry nexus Of course 'linksn i s a plain monosyllable and can therefore be severely treated..).. however. T h e opportunity to put scientific instruments into space i s of only minor importance if it is notadequately supported by attention to basic theory and laboratory research on the ground. This has almost everything: "fieldsw. Only "arbitrary decisionsn could make this clear to the layman. perhaps inevitably. 9.N. The physical capability for worldwide live television by satellite relays i s a hollow thing without a complex of planning and agreements that put suitable receiving s e t s in the homes on the ground and attractive program material into the transmitter. The following quotations a r e from scientific journals and scientific committees. The once fair-haired space project i s now floundering in a m o r a s s of uncertainty. 2. An exercise that seeks quantitative answers relating to a period which i s some distance away in the future must by i t s very nature be highly tentative. a s one of our own . A fancy wnexusw could not. Birth under a cloak i s conceivable. ... 7. It i s obvious that there i s no unitary indicator available which by itself alone encapsulates the totality of the level of living concept and which can therefore serve f o r comparison. They a r e not always so. The optimum level f o r new productive installations Why not "the best levelw? It i s shorter and more easily understandable. . . This i s true in all the possible a r e a s of interest.
loss. T h e Department h a s s e n t i t s ace trouble-shooter t o i r o n out t h e smouldering dispute. together with o t h e r relevant concepts. but a l s o the metaphor. 5.reports put it. What a r e s p e a r s doing in the fields? . s a i d that "anyone using the word 'activation' o r 'implementation' will b e shot. administration i s the m a j o r instrument indicated 1)y the value s y s t e m of a society. T h i s s m a l l Mediterranean republic h a s been ravaged by a bloody tug-of-war. 4. " B a s i c conceptsn m e a n s . If we a s s u m e that i n t h e m o d e r n p l u r a l i s t state. 4. i s a pragmatic and e x p e r i m e n t a l planning f o r a t r e a t m e n t programme.i t i s a longitudinal problem running a l l the . Scientists at Caltech have announced the discovery of a virgin field pregnant with possibilities.") How do we "identify a conceptn-or capture a gremlin? best test of them i s to draw a picture. and out o n : ~ f t c r . and legisl a t u r e s s e r v e mainly to r e s o l v e into a workable pattern t h e conf l i c t s a r i s i n g f r o m t h i s multiplicity of objectives. Legislatures t r y to reconcile the demands of p r e s s u r e groups and to do SO through public administration.. then public ECAFE h a s spearheaded developments in the fieldof c u s t o m s administration. f i r e engines. "And in experinlentaln s e e m s t o be thrown in f o r good measure. What a filter! 3. plain and mixed Metaphor is the application of a name o r descriptive t e r m to an object to which it i s not literally applicable. 5. laundries. adolescent o r juvenilen) m a y b e derived f r o m experience ( w o p e r a t i o n a l i s n ~ n ) c o r r e c t i o n a l institutions. without elaboration. they think in "the slower and m o r e c i r cuitous fishion proper to socioloyical analysisn. 3 A few of the b a s i c concepts that should be considered i n t h e ." a n d "other f i e l d s n could b e omitted without No comment. if anything. ~ l d o l e s c e n to r juvenile offenders. because a l l the f a c e t s of society a r e s o intimateIy interrelated. Not only the problem. and while no attempt is m a d e to include b a s i c concepts t h a t have significance f o r s e r v i c e s i n o t h e r fields. Operatiunalisni i n the administration of correctional institutions. principles. No o n e of the way-stations along the line should b e out of g e a r ::ith any other way-station. A tug-of-war does not usually draw blood. Mixed metaphors a r e a combination of inconsistent metaphors. T h i s i s not.. Who c a r r i e s the portfolio? 6. I think t h i s m e a n s that we m u s t look a t s o c i e t y as a whole r a t h e r than a t the p a r t i c u l a r s e c t i o n s of it. an exhaustive listing.c a r e (parole) and p r e m a t u r e (conditional) release. is running away. guns. They c a n a l s o be t r a p s into the pit of the ludicrous. T h i s s e e m s to Ile an upside-down cake. organization and administration of welfare s e r v i c e s a s dealt with in this working paper a r e briefly listed below without elaboration. when head of the Small B u s i n e s s e s Administration. . The r e p o r t s r e f e r r e d t o embody a nuniber of b a s i c concepts that should be taken into account in considering the organization xnd administrative a r r a n g e m e n t s n e c e s s a r y to implement prog r a m m e objectives. (Maury Mnverik. 6 Adn~inlstratively. way i'rorn the police. T h e Raffles L i b r a r y w a s s e p a r a t e d administratively f r o m t h e Museum and is now included in t h e portfolio of the Ministry of Education. T h e s e . through the institutions. 2. . Metaphors can be charming ornaments. any attempt t o guide s o c i a l change i m p l i e s that m a n m u s t know m o r e about t h e totality of the human p a t t e r n than the s u m of the specificities of knowledge about each s e c t o r of s o c i a l life. Metaphors. But. 1. Cards. 2: UNICEF equipment h a s filtered down to t e n s of thousands of s i m i l a r villages. T h i s is not an exhaustive listing. I think i t m e a n s that a p r a c t i c a l ("pragmaticn) plan f o r t r e a t i n g offenders of a l l a g e s ("whether f o r adult. Sometimes the "The r e p o r t s r e f e r r e d ton = t h e s e r e p o r t s . n ~ i g h tb e reviewed by the Working Group with a view to preparation of a s t a t e m e n t identifying those concepts that have p'trticular significance f o r the organization and administration of all types of s e r v i c e s . a n u m b e r of t h e concepts suggested h e r e a r e of p e r h a p s comparable i m p o r t a n c e to a l l s e r v i c e s . whether f o r adult. ". through the c o u r t s . 1. a s s o c i a t i o n s and social g r o u p s s e e k to gain t h e i r own objectives. " N e c e s s a r y to implement p r o g r a m m e objectivesn = needed.
. with r e g a r d to. H e r e i s an incomplete list.. . .... in a g r e a t number of i n s t a n c e s on..... with r e s p e c t to.... The Chairman should lose his pilot's licence... cf....... . in the position. ..... . bad money d r i v e s out goad.... say..... indicate s e n d .. allowances.... T h e variation i s unnecessary... .... X took the ball f r o m Y and had dribbled the s p h e r e to within t h r e e y a r d s of the goal when .. . 9.... politicians the fancy..... make a donation of i f ..... 10..... It works in many different countries . We must break the s t a l e m a t e in the field of disarmament.......... 2. ... implement c a u s e . read. say it again) If a word s a y s exactly what we mean and we cannot substitute a pronoun for it.. .. honoraria peruse T h e s t r o n g a r m of the law i s marching a f t e r the offenders.....lme.. a l a r g e (considerable. ...... ... appropriate (positive) m e a s u r e s while...... .... c l a r i f y give .. in the event of i n . t r a n s m i t steps... ........... ........ Unless the United Nations has changed the r u l e s of c h e s s .......... T h i s is journalistic c r a m m i n g (q.......that ample provision of 7....... in view of the fact that b e f o r e ......... The Council w a s pleased to note funds f o r developing a f u t u r e home for the Naurunn people w a s not and will not be a stumbling block towards a solution... . T h e s e data include . "BTAO i s a mutual a i d agency. . we should s a y it again... .. The law i s obviously acrobatic..... wInformation" o r lldatall would s e r v e i n both c a s e s . It i s one of the few that would have been m o r e straightforward and would not have taken much m o r e space..... S p o r t s w r i t e r s a r e given to this kind of writing in e v e r y country.... a s r e g a r d s many.... a considerable (sizable) quantity of now. pay. The mutual-aid agency .. Most of the Commission's work is based on information supplied by Governments.. .......... ..... a . ... Plain and fancy words Statesmen use the plain words. 8......... Saudl Arabia is one of the few absolute monarchies rernaining. It s t a n d s in the way of it..'.. b e conducive to c o m e ... concerning opinion (of).a t the p r e s e n t t i m e much...... juvenile pre-delinquents naughty boys........ .. ..... It is much better to repeat a word than to u s e roundabout descriptive p h r a s e s .. Now that the oil-rich kingdom . communicate.. ... frequently. 4........ according to G r e s h a m ' s Law.......... We congratulate the C h a i r m a n on h i s skill in piloting the Committee's ship on to the solid ground of reality... .......... 1 above... a ......... Substitute " i t w f o r "the s p h e r e " and we lose nothing-....)... Plain ask........ number of ... s t a l e m a t e i s the end of the g..... A stumbling block cannot lead towards a solution.. 3... 1. In the United Nations many fancy words have prevailed just a s . which h a s an exceptionally g r e a s y flavour.. .. ..... substantial) Fancy ....... . during such t i m e a s and lastly .. request b e c a u s e .. . sizable...... emanate explain . reaction (to) often. . p r i o r t o c a r r y out........ If it had s a i d that "Saudi Arabia is r i c h in oil..v......... ... Say the word (and. BTAO works in many different countries........... ...." .. ...... . emoluments........ if need be...
"More journalistic cramming.. The basic economy of the T e r r i t o r y s t i l l depends p r i m a r i l y o n subsistence agriculture and fishing. described a l a n d s c a p e a s follows in h i s Discovery of Guiana: "On both s i d e s of this r i v e r we p a s s e d the most beautiful country that I e v e r saw. direct.. Substitute "hew f o r "the head of the Labour Department" (the r e a d e r s could be a s s u m e d to know that that i s what the S e c r e t a r y of Labour is) and "in his" f o r "in the Cabinet Member's . Either "primarily" o r " p r i m a r y w i s unnecessary. 6. 2. because tmth used words that w e r e simple. In his pre8. p r i c k l e s ..F. T h e S e c r e t a r y of L a b u r s p e a k s today before In p a r e d a d d r e s s the head of the Labour Department s a y s t h e Cabinet Member's opinion . Another S i r Walter Raleigh (1552-1618). it i s not a s u m m a r y . . T h e d e s e r t kingdom . 4. a n c e s t o r of t h e f i r s t . 1. bushes and thorns. 1914) by Sir Walter Raleigh (1861-1922): I wish I wish I wish I wish "Given away f r e e n i s on a p a r with the huckster's "free gifts"... however. T h e 74-year-old newspaper executive . The reason is partly because we have to listen to many tautological speeches and the language of the speakers i s infectious. Not both. E i t h e r "basic" o r "primarily". . The s e m i n a r reports.. and in d i v e r s p a r t s g r o v e s of t r e e s by thems e l v e s .. but it has now would d r i v e the point home m o r e directly. ... 1l i k e d the way i t walks. J. What i s needed o v e r and above all e l s e . . A conclusion i s final.. 3. Short and long Short sentences a r e usually easier to read." The l a t e r S i r Walter wrote sentences of 7-8 words: the e a r l i e r a sentence of 117 words. I l o v e d i t s silly face. It was difficult t o .D. the d e e r c a m e down feeding by the w a t e r ' s side. and w h e r e a s a l l that we had s e e n b e f o r e was nothing but woods. . a s if they had been by a l l the a r t and labour in the world s o made of purpose. ." 5. have aroused wide i n t e r e s t .. "The canal i s a vital waterway. which succinctly s u m m a r i z e the discussions. It i s also because we do not always have time to re-read and s e e whether all our words a r e really necessary. Both w e r e readahle.D. r e a c h any final conclusion on the a r t i c l e s in section II... 6. mostly monosyllabic and used them t o say precisely what had to be said. "Above a l l mwould be enough. "Explicitm i s complete. was a newspaper executive.. If a s u m m a r y i s not succinct. Given the efforts that a r e currently being made by t h e count r i e s of the a r e a . h e r e we beheld plains of twenty m i l e s in length. Because of this i t h a s to fade would b e a m o r e d i r e c t way of stating the facts. I liked the way i t talks . e d i t o r of the Milwaukee Journal and president of the Journal Company f o r nearly 1 8 y e a r s died today. but the vital waterway . "Lihya i s a d e s e r t country.. a s we rowed..." Tautology A horrible word. We know f r o m the f i r s t sentence that J. .. T h e canal h a s now been blocked f o r f o u r weeks. "Over and" i s verbiage. .000 copies of t h e Spanish version could be given away free. the g r a s s s h o r t and g r e e n .. . It means repeating the 7... Declarations may be made by governments where an agreement i s in their view not completely explicit . a horrible thing.F.. .. . The Committee took note of the fact that most developing countries of the region depended p r i m a r i l y on agriculture a s a p r i m a r y s o u r c e of income and employment.. T h e Board decided that 3. "Currently" i s " k i n g " .. often in the same sentence. 7. a s if they had been used t o a k e e p e r ' s call..5.. June. Libya i s having to face many new problems. We a r e prone to it.. and s t i l l . It would be enough to add that "He was 74".. 8. a s in these Wishes o f an Elderly Man (Wished at a Garden Party. same idea in the same context. I loved the Human Race. But long sentences c a n be readable too.
Everyone a g r e e d that industrial co-ordination should b e achieved a s soon a s possible. During t h e p a s t decade (1951-1961). 2. unnecessary .. T h i s needs no comment. If the idea w e r e s t a t e d directly-"The Committee r e a l i z e d that the S e m i n a r ' s proposal f o r . T h i s i s presumably: "Urbanization h e r e means movement of people f r o m the country to the townn.02 plus) for each line and. 9. As in all specializations. "In principlen r a i s e s doubt whether the author means what h e s a y s . The result was verbiage. Potentialities a r e f o r the future. . Why could they not "begin to collectn? 5. 7. he stretched out what he had to say to a s many l i n e s a s possible. We should not be penny-a-liners. naturally. 3. . The penny-a-liner died with the F i r s t World War. T h e original r e p o r t said: "The population i s Moslem. He was s o called because newspapers paid him an English penny (then $0. 11. On s e v e r a l occasions the Executive S e c r e t a r y h a s sought to look ahead towards t h e s e future potentialities. The Special Fund's operations a r e intended to b e of immed i a t e significance f o r t h e acceleration of the economic development of the l e s s developed countries. 8. but probably h a s s o m e dime-a-liner descendants. no certainty c a n be achieved. r e s e a r c h s p e c i a l i s t s e m e r g e a s t h e top l a y e r of a broad p y r a m i d of people professionally qualified in that field of activity. e l l i p s i s and makes m o r e obvious the verbiage of "recorded growthn and "has shown an i n c r e a s e n . 4. . 10. "Generation of electricity h a s i n c r e a s e d about 300 p e r c e n t during the l a s t ten years. Verbiage T h e B a s r a p r o j e c t s w e r e not good models. During 1962 two e x p e r t s began work on collecting g e n e r a l information on requirements. not a layer. Export c r e d i t s c a n be r e c o r d e d . which one dictionary defines a s an "abundance of words without necessity o r without much meaningn..9. t h e r e c o r d e d growth of electricity generation h a s shown an i n c r e a s e of about 300 p e r cent. T h e p r o j e c t s in the vicinity of B a s r a a r e not paradigmatic under the viewpoint of duplicability. another a s "a flow of incoherent wordsn. T h e question therefore a r i s e s a s to t h e generalizability of the f o r m s of thought p a t t e r n s and adaptations ( a s they a r e R e s e a r c h s p e c i a l i s t s a r e the b e s t r e s e a r c h e r s . "Urbanizationn i s used in the p r e s e n t context to r e f e r to the p r o c e s s whereby an increasing proportion of a c o u n t r y ' s population lives in u r b a n localities. In many situations." We supplied t h e r e s t . The multiplicity of c u e s which a r e utilized in the categorizing and s o r t i n g of the environment into significant c l a s s e s a r e r e c o n s t r u c t e d f r o m the s t r a t e g i e s and modes of coping with the p r o b l e m s presented to the subjects. the varying t r u s t w o r t h i n e s s and merely statistical validity of the c u e s frequently m a k e i n f e r e n c e s only probable. It is a l s o known a s logorrhea. "Urban localities " i s polysyllabic inflation of t h e monosyllabic "town". Also the Executive S e c r e t a r y could hardly look backward to the future. "Substantiallyn and "in a very useful m a n n e r n a r e too fuzzy t o mean much. 1. T h e r e w a s unanimous agreement on the importanceof indust r i a l co-ordination and of proceeding rapidly towards i t s realization in practice.."-neither would be needed. "In r e g a r d to" m a k e s "in this r e g a r d n unnecessary. but could hardly themselves record. "Increased s h a r p l y n would b e s h o r t e r and m o r e sensible. It i s conservative in outlook. A high d e g r e e of c o n s e r v a t i s m s t i l l c h a r a c t e r i z e s the interpretation of I s l a m in relation to life in a changing world. 6. P u r s u a n t t o r u l e 14of the r u l e s o f p r o c e d u r e of t h e Trusteeship Council. t h e C o m m i t t e e realized that the S e m i n a r ' s proposal in this r e g a r d . In Japan exports of private capital to t h e s e c o u n t r i e s in the f o r m of export c r e d i t s r e c o r d e d a s h a r p i n c r e a s e in 1962. T h e top of a pyramid i s a point." "Electricity generationn i s ungainly. 10. In r e g a r d to the possible establishment of a joint spectographic laboratory in Southeast Asia. the Secretary-General examined the c r e d e n t i a l s and found that they had been issued in of the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of accordance with the provisions of r u l e 1 4 of the r u l e s of proc e d u r e of the T r u s t e e s h i p Council. 11.. "Are intended to a c c e l e r a t e n would be m o r e s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d and would s a v e nine words. ungrammatical. A substantially strengthened s y s t e m of regional r e s e a r c h institutes could in principle supplement national efforts in a very useful manner.
. deserve little respect. This c l a i m i s justified. heal thyself!" 12. Add f two m o r e for "of t h e R ) 4. They lengthen sentences. After the United States. 3. With r e s p e c t to science. What the editorial w r i t e r meant by "with maximum rapidity" was "at o n c e n . (The number saved is given in brackets. 1. The rewriting of the sentences and p h r a s e s below shows how many words could have been saved by direct statement. s i n c e the scope of the cognitive p r o b l e m s studied. translation and reproduction may not be important. 2. t h e i r installation c o s t i s less than that of s t e a m plants. . With r e g a r d to the topic of s t a t e responsibility. He shared the General Rapporteur's view that the topic of s t a t e responsibility could not be placed on the s a m e level a s the law a treaties. the constitution e s t a b l i s h e s the following principles . F r a n c e and the United Kingdom were the two l a r g e s t contrihutors to the net outflow of long-term funds to the developing countries. the t r a d e deficit of the developing c o u n t r i e s h a s i n c r e a s e d fivefold between 1953-1955 and 1959-1961. the main point to consider i s the need of human. The constitution establishes the following principles f o r development (2 words) . (4 words) 9. So f a r a s the net outflow of long-term funds to the developing countries i s concerned. I cannot r e c a l l a t the moment which delegations exhibited p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t in the position a s r e g a r d s the cotton crop. F r a n c e and the United Kingdom w e r e the two l a r g e s t contributors a f t e r the United States. With r e s p e c t to development. The c o s t of installing gas turbines i s l e s s than thzt of installing s t e a m plants. They hinder direct statement. As r e g a r d s c e r e a l s and livestock products.derived from laboratory experiments) to scientific p r o c e d u r e s . "Physician.. "as r e g a r d s n . With r e s p e c t to the question of exports of manufactures and semi-manufactures t h e r e was general agreement on t h e indispensable need f o r Latin America to expand the flow of t h e s e exports to the developed countries. r e p r e s e n t s the n e c e s s a r y s p r e a d and intricacy. This was a p r e f a c e by a p r o f e s s o r to the work of t h r e e o t h e r p r o f e s s o r s . ( 5 words. and of the mechan i s m s for dealing with them. the contents of t r a i n i n g c o u r s e s a r e decided upon in c l o s e consultation with universities. Roundabout p h r a s e s like "with respect ton. In relation t o the creation of regional o r international institutions.) The saving in cost of typing. T h e contents of training c o u r s e s in s c i e n c e a r e decided upon in c l o s e consultation with universities. ( 1 word) T h i s passage was a l s o English of the Englishspeaking. ( 5 words) 8. but that would have been only two monosyllables. T h e main point to consider in c r e a t i n g regional o r international institutions i s the need of human. 6. physical and economic r e s o u r c e s . E a s i e r readability means asaving in reading time and that is important. "in reference to". It i s difficult to understand why the Department d o e s not withdraw t h e s e obsolete instructions with maximum rapidity. linguistic and cultural patterns. They a r e usually unnecessary. Add one m o r e for "indispensable". (6 words.. The t r a d e deficit of the developing c o u n t r i e s in c e r e a l s and livestock products h a s i n c r e a s e d fivefold between 1953-1955 and 1959-1961.. 7 . h e s h a r e d t h e view of the General Rapporteur that the topic could not be placed on the s a m e level a s the law of t r e a t i e s . (2 words) 5. As r e g a r d s gas turbines. physical and economic r e s o u r c e s .. which i s dispensable). (4 words) Without respect . . T h e r e was general agreement o n the indispensable need f o r Latin A m e r i c a to expand the flow of exports of manufactures and semi-manufactures to the developed countries.
Agreement was reached on the creation of 'regional institutes in order to decentralize activities. but worth while. 4.. Miith respect to the effective co-ordination of activities. therefore. However. the meetings of the & Hoc Committee of Experts. This report did not offer a satisfactory basis for resolving the difficulties arising from resolutions and directives on the Secretariat's programme of social work. At the discussion with the Foundation. while the Secretariat would approach other nongovernmental organizations having consultative status on social defence. national Penal and Penitentiary Foundation. In turn. Social FUTURE OF THE UNITED NATIONS SOCIAL DEFENCE PROGRAMME Geneva Office. explain the limited character of their possible co-operation. the Secretary-General has been able to discuss the question of more effective collaboration with a substantial number of them. and the system of correspondents. The ECOSOC resolution was of course subject to the restrictions mentioned in the Guide. passages from a social and an economic report. Besides being good intellectual exercise. agreement was reached on the creation of regional institutes. There was some measure of agreement about the transfer of some activities from United Nations Headquarters to the Geneva Office. Some measure of agreement was found a s r e g a r d s the possible t r a n s f e r o f certain activities from United Nations Headquarters to the United Nations 2. . 5 Regarding the negotiations to be undertaken hy the Inter. With respect to the other non-governmental organizations. an administrative circular and a resolution of the Economic and Social Council have been rewritten in an attempt to show that what they said could have been said more briefly and thereby more clearly.. However. the Secretariat would approach other non-governmental organizations having consultative status in the field of social defence. 3. Such discussions took place in Geneva in July and August. Constructive criticismwhich i s in fact reconstruction-is hard. 2. 6. the meetings of the Ad Hoc Committee of Experts: publication of the International Review of Criminal Policy: and the system of correspondents. Such informal conversations took place in Geneva in July and August first with the representatives of certain Governments and l a t e r with representatives of the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation. the Secretary-General hoped that informal discussions with Governments and non-governmental organizations could take place early enough to enable the Secretary-General to make proposals bef o r e the Social Commission's next session. i s one way of learning how to write clearly and concisely. a preliminary agreement was reached that the following should remain United Nations responsibilities a s part of i t s leadership in the field of social defence: the o r l ganization of quinquennial congresses. 3. offer a fully satisfactory basis f o r resolving the difficulties arising f r o m the different resolutions and directives relating to the programme of work assigned to the Secretariat in the social field. especially as f a r as the farming out of United Nations activities in the field of social defence i s concerned. Although some of these organizations a r e directly concerned with social delence matters. This report did not. most of them deal with these mutt e r s within a more general framework of activities. In the following pages. a preliminary agreement was reached that the United Nations should remain responsible for organization of quinquennial congresses. The Foundation agreed to discuss co-ordination of activities with the non-governmental organizations dealing exclusively with social defence.Annex Ill REWRITING CAN HELP Destructive criticism i s easy. 4. it i s expected that information will reach the Secretariat shortly. the publication of the International ~ Y i e w Criminal Policy. rewriting. in the Secretary-General's view. their research resources a r e very limited. FUTURE OF THE UNITED NATIONS SOCIAL DEFENCE PROGRAMME . followed by a comparison of the before and after. This. first with Governments and later with the lnternational Penal and Penitentiary Foundation. he expressed the hope that informal diecussions with Governments and with the non-governmental organizations concerned could take place e a r l y enough to enable the SecretaryGeneral to make satisfactory proposals before the next session of the Social Commission. of With respect to the decentralization of activities. the International Penal and l'enitentiary Foundation agreed to discuss the matter with the non-governmental organizations dealing exclusively with social defence matters. and the fact that their financial and. At the informal meeting with the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation.
3). and a r e governed I J a statement of the Commission in which it ~ was s t a t e d that although the problem p r i m a r i l y was regional in scope. the Economic Commission f o r Latin A m e r i c a (ECLA). Sentences beginning "with r e s p e c t to" (two in para. T h e tmmt)astic and self-congratulatory "as p a r t of i t s leadership in the field of social d e f e n c e mhas been cut. It is expected that information almut the Foundation's disc u s s i o n s will r e a c h the S e c r e t a r i a t soon. AJthough s o m e of them a r e directly concerned with social defence. 5) have been turned around and made direct. 2.2/182). 6) and "regarding" (para. the Economic Commission f o r Europe (ECE). 2. 5. 6) h a s been removed. 9. Adverbial and adjectival stuffing ("fully ". although t h e p r o b l e m w a s primarily regional. and suggest o t h e r a s p e c t s of co-ordination r e q u i r i n g f u r t h e r study. and the fact that t h e i r financial and.cntial" in p a r a . T h i s . f u r t h e r reviewed by the T r a n s p o r t and Communications Commission: the second r e q u e s t s the Secretary-General to p u r s u e t h e matter. "Representatives of" (twice in p a r a . 1 ( ~ ~ e t i t i o have k e n eliminated. a s well a s in s o m e c o u n t r i e s outs i d e the region. it i s unnecessary to r e p e a t "informal" in p a r a s . T h i s i t e m i s based on E:conomic a n d s o c i a l Council resolutions 1 4 7 I (VlI) and 298 H (XI). t h e i r r e s e i ~ r c h r e s o u r c e s a r e s m a l l . Since t h e d i s c u s s i o n s w e r e ns descrit)ecl a s "informal" in p a r a . in the c o u n t r i e s of the region. 4) and "negotiationsn (para. t h e r e f o r e . t h e International C h a m b e r of C o m m e r c e (ICC). 7. the S e c r e t a r y . 3) h a s been cut.ern in p a r a 6). s t a t u t o r y o r otherwise. T h e i t e m h a s been on the agenda s i n c e the C o m m i s s i o n ' s second s e s s i o n . Since the I P P F i s given its full t i t l e in para.. 3. T h e r e s u l t i s a reduction of m o r e than a q u a r t e r . " s o m e " f o r "a numl. "Discussions" i s the word used in para. t h e lnternational Railway C o n g r e s s Association and the Illternational Hailway Union (UIC). 4 and one in para.A foot-note showed that the 'substanrlal number' was ten. 6. T h e Inland T r a n s p o r t Committee of t h e Economic Comnlission f o r Asia and t h e F a r East. At i t s eighth s e s s i o n t h e 3. 5). At p r e s e n t activities relating to this subject a r e c a r r i e d out u n d e r Economic and Social Council resolutions 147 1 (VII) and 298 H (XI). "the differentw. the Secretary-General should continue t o m a k e r e p o r t s to t h e Commission on developments in t h i s field. The Secretary-General h a s d i s c u s s e d the question of m o r e effective collaboration with t e n * o t h e r non-governmental organizations. "meeting" (para. and noting activities in this field by the Economic Commission f o r Asia and t h e F a r E a s t (ECAFE). T h e problem of theco-ordination of inland t r a n s p o r t was f i r s t placed before the C o m m i s s i o n a t i t s second s e s s i o n . CO-ORDINATION OF INLAND TRANSPORT T h i s i t e m is based on Economic a n d s o c i a l Council resolutions 147 I (VII) and 298 H (XI). Only the following general c o m m e n t s a r e t h e r e f o r e made: 1. m o s t of them deal with it withill a m o r e g e n e r a l framework.CO-ORDINATION OF INLAND TRANSPORT 5. Ternlinology h a s I ~ e e nmade uniform. at i t s seventh s e s s i o n in F e b r u a r y 1958 r e c o m m e n d e d that the ad hoc Working P a r t y established to study p r o b l e m s of co-ordination of inland t r a n s p o r t shouldconcentrate in p a r t i c u l a r on the analysis of t h e p r i n c i p l e s and methods of coordination of different f o r m s of t r a n s p o r t . and h a s s i n c e been considered at all subsequent s e s s i o n s . T h e r e f o r e . Work on it i s c a r r i e d out under the Council resolutions and i s governed by the Commission's s t a t e m e n t that. especially a s f a r a s the f a r m ing out of llnited Nations s o c i a l defence activities is concerned. The p r e s e n t note contains a brief s u r v e y of m o r e important developments in the field of co-ordination of inland t r a n s p o r t on an international level s i n c e the last meeting of the Commission. 2. T h e f i r s t resolution provides t h a t long-term co-ordination of inland t r a n s p o r t should b e . 6. Many of the words used a r e a l s o s h o r t e r ("on" f o r "relating t o n in p a r a . a t i t s eighth s e s s i o n the C o n ~ m i s s i o n examined a r e p o r t by t h e Secretary-General (document E/CN. Whenever possible. 2. 2. T h e f i r s t provides t h a t the long-term I t would be tedious to explain e v e r y deletion and change. 4 . T h e r e is no need to change it to "conversations" (para. an apostrophe "s" h a s been substituted f o r "of then. 4: "subst. " c e r t a i n n in p a r a . 8. the discussions woulcl be with r e p r e s e n t ~ t t i v e s . a s p e c t of the question of co-ordination o f inland t r a n s p o r t should be f u r t h e r reviewed by the T r a n s p o r t andCommunications Commission. s u m m a r i z i n g developm e n t s s i n c e the previous s e s s i o n . P e r h a p s b e c a u s e of the irifluence of the F r e n c h language. explain why ~ t h e i r co-operation may I J limited. "satisfactory" in p a r a . 3 and 4. "soon" f o r "shortly" in para. 2. All fields have been ploughed under. and h a s been considered a t all subsequent s e s s i o n s . 01)viously. the apostrophe "s' i s neglected in United Nations reports. the second requests the Secretary-General to continue to p u r s u e the matter. *. 62 .G e n e r a l should continue t o r e p o r t developments. "the Foundation" i s enough t h e r e a f t e r . 'effectiven in p a r a . 5.
.. . ... concentrate in particular tration i s particular. 4. . A note i s by definitionbrief. 'I.. and noting the activities of the Economic Commission for Asia and the F a r East. m3re important . This note deals with developments in international co-ordination of inland transport since the Commissionfs last session. different forms of transport." .It is now anticipated that with the erection of safety and security b a r r i e r s it will t)e possible by 15 May to open a portion of the grounds.. and the a r e a so restricted will be delineated I)y a fence. By then the working a r e a s will be fenced off... however.ers and visitors." . Ali "aspects ". The only available access to the north gardens will be through the gate at 47th Street and F i r s t Avenue. make reports to the Commission on developments in this field ."(line 3) i s verbiage. the word and. at its seventh session in February 1958 recommentled that the ad hoc Working Party on the subject should concentrate on the principles and methods of co-ordination of all forms of transport in the region.e United Nations gardens have not been opened to the staff and the public at the usual time. . . say it again. contains a brief survey ."(same line) begs a question.. (lines 13-14) is "report developments"." . All staff members a r e asked to co-operate. the Economic Commission for Latin America. 3.. 2. "." (lines 29-30). The result i s a reduction by one quarter.. "At present activities relating to this subject a r e (line 9 i s "Work on it (the s a m e old item) i s .. To what body other than the Commission would the Secretary-General report? 8.. 3. .in this context presumably means lvsession~l." 5.. the International Chamber of Commerce. The gardens south of the Conference building will be closed. and suggest what other questions required further study. a s well a s in some count r i e s outside. 14. With a verb in the present tense the note could hardly be past o r future.. (lines 11-12) is "the Commission's statement .. .. ".. .Commission examined a report by the Secretary-General summarizing developments since the previous session. expected that part of the'gardens will be opened hy 1 5 May.. 9. a statement of the Commission in which it was stated . "The present (line 23 i s bureaucratic verbiage for "thisn. 10... Say ". meeting ."(line 25).... and the co-operation of all staff m e m l ~ e r si s solicited in adhering to the temporary restrictions on the use of the gardens while construction i s in progress. The only access to the north gardens will be by the gate at 47th Street and F i r s t Avenue. . "in scopen (lines 12-13) i s unnecessary.. . and during construction the gardens to the south of theconference huilding will be closed entirely."(line 23 i s more verbiage. ". of transport in the region . implies a judgement and i s superfluous. Because of the construction in progress t: ." (lines 28-29) is "on the subject ". ''to pursuen i s "to cpntinuen (line 6). UNITED NATIONS GARDENS 1. ". .. It is.Readers of this report might be presumed to know that the Working Party had been established and why. (lines 31-32) i s . These regulations a r e necessary in the interest of the safety of staff mem1. . Staff members will not be able to enter the gardens through the first basement." 7.. These regulations a r e necessary to e n s u r e the safety of staff and visitors.. Because of the requirements of construction. . established to study problems of co-ordinationof inland 11. 15." ". ". statutory o r otherwise. Concen- . certain a r e a s formerly available for enjoyment by the staffandpublicmust be restricted this s u m m e r .. all forms in the countries of the region . transport . if need be. In particular." 6. Notes 1. it should be noted that it will not be possible fcr staff members to enter the gardens through the doors in the f i r s t basement of the Conference huilding. the !nternational Railway Congress Association and the lnternational Railway Union. . 12. "The problem of the co-ordination of inland transportn (lines 6-7) is the item mentioned in line 1. 13. 2." ". "..'tfieldswand "levels" have been removed.. aspect of the question of .. The lnland Transport Committee of the Economic Commission for Asia and the F a r East.. Administrative UNITED NATIONS GARDENS The construction programme currently i t 1 p r o g r e s s at United Nations Headquarters has prevented the normal opening of the gardens to the staff and the general pu\~lic. the Economic Commission for Europe.
either a s limiting their freedom of design o r the scope f o r their special skills. in fact. and a . Research too appears to be reducing maintenance costs impartially. would tell i n favour of the metal windows.Notes Annex IV UNITED NATIONS WRITERS CAN WRITE Lest it should be thought that all United Nations reports a r e written in the "pompous. social and scientific subjects a r e reproduced to show that some United Nations writers can write to be read. whose high output can be fully exploited only in the manufacture of a well-defined standard product. it might be thought. i t seemsunlikely. ". f o r wooden ones. improved anticorrosion treatments have been developed f o r metal windows. Architects and builders have tended to r e s i s t standardization. In most European countries. i t has probably neither gained nor lost ground to metal. "safety and security barriers ") jargon that the only course possible was to rewrite it completely. "Solicited". whether in singlefamily o r multifamily dwellings. through larger windows and slenderer frames. At least one of the passages i s by a member of the Secretariat who was not writing in his native tongue. has changed much since 1950. they a r e gradually being overruled by public authorities. "Anticipatedn i s a fancy word for "expected". that the consumption of woodin windows. a s the more important developments have either been neutral o r have offset each other. who a r e responsible for large house-building programmes and anxious to keep costs down. but goes too f a r theother way. But the process of standardization has itself led to a more economical use of wood and has been assisted in some countries by the greater availability of tropical woods of suitable quality. the following passages from United Nations reports on economic. Similarly the modern trend in design has been towards better external lighting. Standardization i s an interesting example. and which have so reduced the cost of wooden windows a s fully to maintain their competitive position. but i t may bedoubted whether either has gained much ground. "normaln. "Portion of the grounds presumably means "part of the gardens "Available for enjoyment" i s treacle. Economic WINDOWS AND SHUTTERS Since 1950 competition between wooden and metal windows has continued to be intense. The original was such a hodge-podge of bureaucrats ' ("currently in progress ". polysyllabic and relentlessly abstract stylen deplored by Edmund Wilson. "delineated by a fencen is verbiage. and this again would seem to favour the metal window. new woodworking machines have been introduced. however. sounds better than the peremptory tone of some earlier administrative circulars. This. f o r example in stainless steel itself o r moulded plastics. While statistical evidence is almost wholly lacking. but. therefore. but s o have better protective coverings. which have also been highly acceptable aesthetically.
By 1922 about 100 radiologists had died from i t s effects. This is the role of contributory s o d a 1 insurance. Considerable damage resulted until the f i r s t measures of precaution were adopted. The older system of familial and voluntary responsibility places virtually the whole burden of relieving indigency on the poor themselves. Living beings have always been exposed to ionizing radiation f r o m various natural sources. This method. unforeseen hazards. a s the total scope of such programmes expands. 19. no other f o r m of social service is a s costly a s one that involves the ass-lmption of responsibility f o r maintenance. this compounding of misery-however inescapable in an impoverished society-is l e s s likely to be considered tolerable. The common characteristic of social programmes in countries a t this stage is.more economical u s e has been offset by an increase in window a r e a per dwelling. (1963 Report on the World Social Situation. national and international conferences were held to discuss possible methods of protection against the radiations emitted by X-ray tubes and radium. the factor of selective entitlement. as. under which certain predictable needs a r e anticipated through pooled compulsory savings. p. 2. Nevertheless. often combined with the first. the International Commissicn on Radiological Protection was established. in the period when countries begin to shift the major burden of support f o r non-producers from the individual family to a broader social base. which met a t Stockholm in 1928. UN) Scientific ATOMIC RADIATION 1. International action was f i r s t taken during the Second International Congress of Radiology. there. in addition to very great benefits. The year 1921 marks the birth of national vrganizations f o r radiological protection and the publicationof their f i r s t recommendations. . within only five years. and for incorporation of these criteria into laws and administrative policies that will reduce the need f o r ad hoc decisions. A second method. therefore. therefore. Selective entitlement i s particularly important in reconciling social advance with economic reality. Direct public services f o r particular groups. which may be extremely restrictive o r become increasingly inclusive. ~ o only i s the principle of a minimum social guarantee of t basic significance. members of which were elected according to their recognized ability. in t e r m s of their need f o r the benefit o r service provided. UN/FAOI Social SELECTIVE ENTITLEMENT TO SOCIAL BENEFITS In countries where social resources a r e still inadequate to meet fully any particular type of social need. difficult choices must constantly be made between individuals and localities with equally valid claims. and tax concessions f o r persons in specified situations a r e also methods of preventing need by selective entitlement. loss of earnings in old age o r disability. any public assistance programme which underpins a minimum level of living f o r a particular group of people must be considered a major landmark in the total span of social service development. independent of their nationality. and of radio-activity in uranium s a l t s by Becquerel in 1896. but the institutional mechanism thus established can be and typically has been expanded to cover a wider range of need more adequately a s resources permit. Thefirst is to specify the particular type of need that will be considered the basis f o r entitlement. The medical u s e of X-rays increased considerably during the F i r s t World War. p. A s exposure of human beings and of animals led progressively to knowledge of the g r o s s effects of radiation. often characterized by i t s use of the so-called "means testn. 170 cases of radiation injury were recorded. this increased the incidence of overexposure. 3. such a s unemployment. that of a child lacking any source of adult c a r e and support. f o r example. services required of certain classes of employers. 4. The discovery of radio-activity was followed by a rapid development in knowledge of the characteristics and properties of radio-active substances. is the typical pattern of public assistance in which economic aid is extended to persons in certain designated situations. the discovery of X-rays by Roentgen in 1895. 110. protecting the covered group against a common risk. brought. On the other hand. This has usually been done in three different ways. P r o g r e s s in experimental physics since the beginning of the twentieth century has also brought about new sources of radiation such a s man-made radio-activity andpowerful accelerators. s o that the hazard became extended to those undertaking chemical work with radio-active materials. Indeed. The third method is to reduce the extent of social need by making provisions f o r i t s prevention. in developing countries. public assistance i s almost inevitably limited in the beginning to a relatively small group of people and given a t an economic level that is considerably below the prevailing level of living f o r the population a s a whole. their separation and their applications. A s a higher level of national income is achieved. limits entitlement not only by social situation but also by economic circumstances. (European Timber Trends and Prospects. however. a constant demand. Despite these limitations. There is. F o r this reason. f o r objective criteria of entitlement by which such choices canbe rationalized. 1950-1975.
Fowler. No. Oxford University Press. Education and Welfare. The complete plain words. These two pamphlets are no longer sold by the United States Government Printing Off~e. 1954. Leary and James Steel Smith. This is primarily a college textbook. the first of twentyeight pages and the second of forty-four pages. Sir Ernest Gowers. As the title indicates. In both classes the United Nations writer may find help. 1970. B. Stationery Office. A few of them have been addressed to the official writer. Cambridge. Cambridge U ~ v e r . England. Reprint of 1916 edition: Folcroft. London. Getting your ideas across through writing. they are admirable. These two pamphlets. 1951.Following the discovery of nuclear fission in 1939 and i t s applications. Revised by Sir Ernest nls Gowers.C. New York. 3.S. White. taken mainly from British official communications..S.d. They are also evidence that some officials are aware of the need for clear communication. and admirably brief. The contamination of the environment by explosions of nuclear weapons. - BIBLIOGRAPHY Books and pamphlets on writing have been published in many languages over several hundred years. Paining Manual No. London. A. but illustrates it more fully and follows the illustration with detailed analyses. sity Press. 'Lb quote its author. Harcourt. 71 . Reference copies are kept in the Federal Regional Depositmy (htroduction to the Report of the United Nations Scientific p. and the increasing use of X-rays and of radio-isotopes for medical and industrial purposes extend the problem to whole populations 'and also raise new international questions.. 2. 1965. 1916. reprinted Penguin. H . are obtainable from-thgU&d States Government Printing office in Washington. n. William G.' Although addressed to a specialized readership. H. T QulllerCouch. mink before you write. U. 6. 1) ' Libraries. radiation hazards and protection problems increased very extensively and the atomic explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused many human deaths from radiation. the discharge of radio-ac tive wastes arising from nuclear reactors. but the principles hold good. 7. D. M. William Strunk and E. Modern E g i h Usage. On the art of writing. Here are a few examples: 1.Gowers shows how the tools can be used and misused. The lectures were given_nearly fifty years ago. 1950. T i book was written at the invitation of the British 'Ikeasuryhs more evidence that some officials care about clear writing. based on lectures at Cambridge University. They are presented in very readable style. Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. Brace and Co. This is a longer statement of the principles of writing. 1979. E k EEements of Stgle. 4 . it is "intended primarily for those who use words a s tools of their trade': By both precept and many examples. let. it starts from the same premise a s this guide. most not. 5. Department of the Army pamphmrv rtn. London. with illustrations. statements of the principles of writing. 1-10. Department of Health. W. I p o e your w i i g U. Collier-Macmillan Co. ISBN 0-8414-6918-0. 7. ~/3838.