Short shot #26: the tyranny of the style sheet

In an op-ed piece (“The Next Surge: Counterbureaucracy”) in the NYT on December 8, Jonathan J. Vaccaro describes the baleful effects of bureaucracy on the conduct of the campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan; multiple approvals from many different authorities are required before action can be taken. And then:

The red tape isn’t just on the battlefield. Combat commanders are required to submit reports in PowerPoint with proper fonts, line widths and colors so that the filing system is not derailed.

No report, however, of requirements on punctuation, spelling, and the like, not to mention grammar and usage.

One Response to “Short shot #26: the tyranny of the style sheet”

  1. The Ridger Says:

    Indeed. Though you would think that PowerPoint reports (and we have to do them, too) would be “filed” electronically, so that things like fonts and line widths wouldn’t matter, I strong believe someone in the Pentagon prints each one off and actually files it somewhere…

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