War on (Buzz)Words
(See K. Bateman, pp. 20-23, August 2008 Proceedings)
Commander William B. Young, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired)—Kate Bateman's article said it all. When I was going through basic jet training at NAS Pensacola in 1967, the manual on air-to-air gunnery dictated that "Gunnery flights shall consist of a maximum of four aircraft and not less than three." When innocent Ensign Young asked why it couldn't read "either three or four aircraft," I was told that the simpler phraseology "wasn't precise enough." A lot of Navy writing (and speaking) is done by ordinary people who try to sound like lawyers so that they will (they think) be taken seriously. Simple answer: Say what you mean, and mean what you say!
Captain Edmund Shimberg, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired)—I enjoyed reading Kate Bateman's article in the August issue. Right on the money! And I was titillated to read an article later in the issue that, sure enough, used "leverage" when really meaning "use."