MORE on martinets in the State House, lifted from a memo...

salmagundi

June 13, 1995

MORE on martinets in the State House, lifted from a memo on proper style when writing to or on behalf of the governor. The memo came from the governor's chief of staff, Major F. Riddick.

In the best militaristic tradition, he wrote:

"The type style of all letters should either be CG Times or Courier. The font size should be either 10 pci or 12 pci. Do not use a size larger or smaller than this size."

"Do not date letters for the Governor's signature. Leave space for the date, though.

"Return four times between the date and the beginning of the address, and between Sincerely and Parris N. Glendening. Please note that the Governor prefers to have his name followed by Governor on the next line."

"Second pages should start on the computer's default line (usually one inch). Use the addressee's name, date of letter and page number."

"Do not include drafters or typists initials on the original letter."

The Riddick memo continues for nine agonizing pages.

Memo to Major F. Riddick from Salmagundi:

Please be aware that your style memo is in violation of your own edicts, to wit --

* It is nine times longer than your one-page maximum.

* Pages 2 through 9 contain neither a number nor the writer's name.

* You need to go back to grammar school, i.e., "drafters" and "typists" in preceding section require an apostrophe to indicate possessive. As written, Salmagundi can't figure out if you mean drafter, drafter's or drafters'.

* There is a mistake on the fifth (unnumbered) page, where you wrote "and abbreviation" when you meant "an abbreviation."

* Our computer spell-checker questions your use of the term "memoranda."

* Learn when to use a hyphen.

* Don't insult the intelligence of experienced executive-branch personnel.

* Always address Salmagundi as "The Honourable" (we prefer the British spelling).

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.