Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Say What You Mean--Mean What You Say

We've been discussing in class the noise field and noise factors, those things which can disrupt communication and cause errors of understanding. One of my students emailed me the following as an example he had found of multiple noise factors.

Many times we are all guilty of sending our words out without checking that those words actually say what we want to say, that the message is what we intended. We need to remember that editing is part of the writing process. Enjoy!

Trouble with the chain-of-command

A COLONEL ISSUED THE FOLLOWING DIRECTIVE TO HIS EXECUTIVE OFFICERS:"Tomorrow evening at approximately 2000 hours Halley's Comet will be visible in this area; an event which occurs only every 75 years. Have the men fall out in the battalion area in fatigues, and I will explain this rare phenomenon to them. In case of rain, we will not be able to see anything, so assemble the men in the theater and I will show them films of it."

EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO COMPANY COMMANDER:"By order of the Colonel, tomorrow at 2000 hours, Halley's Comet will appear above the battalion area. If it rains, fall the men out in fatigues, then march to the theater where this rare phenomenon will take place, something which occurs only once every 75 years."

COMPANY COMMANDER TO LIEUTENANT:"By order of the Colonel be in fatigues at 2000 hours tomorrow evening. The phenomenal Halley's Comet will appear in the theater. In case of rain in the battalion area, the Colonel will give another order, something which occurs once every 75 years."

LIEUTENANT TO SERGEANT:"Tomorrow at 2000 hours, the Colonel will appear in the theater with Halley's comet, something which happens every 75 years. If it rains, the Colonel will order the comet into the battalion area."

SERGEANT TO SQUAD:"When it rains tomorrow at 2000 hours, the phenomenal 75-year-old General Halley, accompanied by the Colonel, will drive his comet through the battalion area theater in fatigues."

1 comment:

G said...

"By order of the Colonel, tomorrow at 2000 hours, Halley's Comet will appear above the battalion area"