1944 memo from manager sick of "gobbledygook"


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For a memo that was trying to encourage brevity and clarity, it could stand to lose the last two paragraphs.


“I realised that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and inpenetrable fog! Want to see my book report?” “The Dynamics of Interbeing and Monological Imperatives in ‘Dick and Jane’: A Study in Psychic Transrelational Modes.”
“Academia, here I come!”

  • Calvin & Hobbes


So at last we have the noun for one who utters gobbledygook: gobbledygobbler


I’d keep the part about shooting those who use buzzwords… they might feel it important to know in advance.


I applaud Maury Maverick for innovating. His proactive, synergistic outside-the-box-thinking should foster a paradigm-shift that will impact the core competency of the organization.

Milo Minderbinder


To be brief, concise and to the point, to get your message across
quickly, precisely and with an economy of words without undue delay or
hesitation, that is the soul of wit.


From the Commanding General to All Personnel:

Regarding swagger sticks: If you need one, carry one.

Owen Edwards
The Best Management Memo … Ever!


I find myself regularly butting heads with just the opposite: Writing styled after Powerpoint. Everything ends up written in a form of broken English where tense stays locked in a state of quantum indeterminacy. Also: bullet points. So many bullet points! It’s brevity prized over coherence.

It’s been my experience that the more money an employee makes, the more likely they would fail a grade school page-and-a-half “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” writing assignment.


I love the way he leveraged that neologism.


This memo did not have any lasting influence at the DoD or military contractors.


Never get gobbeldygook in your arglebargle.


But is it arglebargle or foofaraw?


Let’s not start some harum-scarum hubbub over any hoity-toity hugger-mugger mumbo-jumbo, now.


You got your synergy in my paradigm.


This is all poppycock!


Man, I need at least 2 swagger sticks to get though a day.


I suspect that Milo was partly modeled after Robert Wood “General” Johnson II, who was chairman of the board of the SWPC.

Johnson had a tendency to overrule service branch requests for approval for production of specific military armament and ordnance items in favor of competing but less capable designs that could be made more rapidly or with lower material costs, freeing scarce but non-critical materials to small companies so that they could begin the transition to peacetime goods production.

… in the fall of 1943, when the entire Michigan regional division of the SWPC resigned in protest over the actions of the parent board, stating that the SWPC was “nothing more than a glorified publicity agency”.

I learned this bit of tape trivia:

At the outbreak of World War II, Johnson’s work in identifying products needed by the war effort resulted in the Permacell division of J&J inventing duct tape for sealing ammunition boxes. J&J plant managers simply took their existing cloth medical adhesive tape, added a waterproof plastic layer with a more aggressive adhesive, and produced it in olive drab (OD) green to match the ammunition cans.


And if you get gobbeldygook into your pure applesauce, just toss it out! No one should stand for that jiggery-pokery.


Never use a large word where a diminutive one will do.