28 February 2007

Hilariously Ridiculous Official Paragraph

Today my boss had me look at an official document that was sent to him for feedback. There were horrible inconsistencies, confusing sentences, unnecessary information, and downright silly paragraphs.

One, however, really got me. I am still wondering if it was a joke. The people who are working on this project do not seem like jokesters to me. The whole section was so hilariously wrong and useless and unofficial-sounding. I finally understood what they were talking about, but I have no idea why it would have any place in a document about Library policies. Oh brother! I think I will laugh about this one for a while to come. For those of you who also like to point out errors, read the paragraph. If you don't get what it's talking about, look at the image of a word document. (I fix the problem in my own documents by adding "members.") Here's the paragraph, without any corrections:


The term staff is used to include Library employees and missionaries. It may seem grammatically incorrect to write that the staff is the key to our success. However, if one writes that the staff are the key to our success which sounds better to some, then the little green line appears. We try to avoid such occurrences as green lines, usually.


  1. I love examples of when people let computers dictate their actions, rather than using computers as a tool. It provides such comic relief, especially in boring official documents.

  2. Wow. Did they go to college? Now I will have nightmares with the little green line chasing me through a forest of subject-verb agreement errors.