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From the National Archives:


"Stay off gobbledygook language."

Seventy years ago, there just wasn’t a suitable term for those brain-scalding, rage-inducing concoctions of grammar and syntax masquerading as language. Well, Mr. Maury Maverick came up with one:
"Gobbledygook."
Here is his memorandum to the staff of the federal agency he headed, the Smaller War Plants Corporation; the first known usage of this faintly exotic, yet viciously accurate, addition to the English language.  

Memorandum from Maury Maverick to Everybody in Smaller War Plants Corporation. 3/24/1944
From the series: Field Letters and Memoranda, 1943 - 1945. Records of the Smaller War Plants Corporation, 1940 - 1948

(Today’s post comes via Alan Walker, an archivist in Research Services at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.)
These days Mr. Maverick would just be seen as a rather outspoken proponent of what we in the government call “plain language.”
Maybe you call it “jargon,”  ”legalese,” or  ”doublespeak” —  what’s your favorite term for “Gobbledygook”?

Image description

From the National Archives:

"Stay off gobbledygook language."

Seventy years ago, there just wasn’t a suitable term for those brain-scalding, rage-inducing concoctions of grammar and syntax masquerading as language. Well, Mr. Maury Maverick came up with one:

"Gobbledygook."

Here is his memorandum to the staff of the federal agency he headed, the Smaller War Plants Corporation; the first known usage of this faintly exotic, yet viciously accurate, addition to the English language.  

Memorandum from Maury Maverick to Everybody in Smaller War Plants Corporation. 3/24/1944

From the series: Field Letters and Memoranda, 1943 - 1945. Records of the Smaller War Plants Corporation, 1940 - 1948

(Today’s post comes via Alan Walker, an archivist in Research Services at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.)

These days Mr. Maverick would just be seen as a rather outspoken proponent of what we in the government call “plain language.

Maybe you call it “jargon,”  ”legalese,” or  ”doublespeak” —  what’s your favorite term for “Gobbledygook”?

The Official Language of the United States

In the last few days, we’ve gotten several searches for the “official language” of the United States.

Did you know, the United States doesn’t actually have an official language? Some states, however, do list English as their official language. 

In fact, the federal government is required to provide access and information about federal programs and federally assisted programs to people with limited English proficiency. 

Learn more