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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”?

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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”?

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From the National Archives:

"Dear Sir,

I am very sorry but I am very mad about the oil spill. It is killing nature. And it is killing the sea otters. It makes me very sad because my class is doing a report on sea otters. And sea otters are cute. Sea otters are an endangered species. Please clean up the oil spill.

Sincerely,

Kelli Middlestead.
Mrs. Ashley - 2nd grade
Franklin School”

Letter from Kelli Middlestead from the Franklin School, Burlingame, California to Walter Stieglitz the Regional Director of the Alaska Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 04/13/1989

From the series: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Correspondence, 1989 - 1991. Records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Twenty-five years ago today the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling over 250,000 barrels of crude oil and causing one of the worst oil spills and natural disasters in U.S. history.

This 2nd grade student’s letter to usfws is possibly our favorite record ever, but it’s especially bittersweet considering the magnitude of the disaster.

What are your memories of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill?

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From the National Archives:


"Negro sailors of the USS MASON commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 20 March 1944 proudly look over their ship which is first to have predominantly Negro crew."
From the series: General Photographic File of the Department of Navy, 1943 - 1958

The USS Mason was one of only two ships during World War II with predominately African American crews.  The experiences of the USS Mason’s crew would later be dramatized in the film Proud (2004).
More images of the USS Mason and her crew at the U.S. Navy’s History and Heritage site.  

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From the National Archives:

"Negro sailors of the USS MASON commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 20 March 1944 proudly look over their ship which is first to have predominantly Negro crew."

From the series: General Photographic File of the Department of Navy, 1943 - 1958

The USS Mason was one of only two ships during World War II with predominately African American crews.  The experiences of the USS Mason’s crew would later be dramatized in the film Proud (2004).

More images of the USS Mason and her crew at the U.S. Navy’s History and Heritage site.  

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From the National Archives:

The “Hello Girls”

"American telephone girls on arrival for "hello" duty in France. They all can speak both English and French., 03/1918"

During World War I, over 400 women were enrolled in the U.S. Army Signal Corps to operate telephone* switchboards in France.  Despite the sometimes hazardous conditions of their service, they were denied veterans status after the war ended.  It would take 60 years until a bill was signed by President Carter granting them veterans status in 1978.
Read more about the “Hello Girls” at the Signal Corps “Regimental” History Site - The Hello Girls

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From the National Archives:

The “Hello Girls”

"American telephone girls on arrival for "hello" duty in France. They all can speak both English and French., 03/1918"

During World War I, over 400 women were enrolled in the U.S. Army Signal Corps to operate telephone* switchboards in France.  Despite the sometimes hazardous conditions of their service, they were denied veterans status after the war ended.  It would take 60 years until a bill was signed by President Carter granting them veterans status in 1978.

Read more about the “Hello Girls” at the Signal Corps “Regimental” History Site - The Hello Girls

Why is Christianity not the official state religion of the United States? It’s very sad!

Asked by Gabbi on Facebook.

The first amendment to the Constitution states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Read the full first amendment.

You can also read more about why America’s Founding Fathers created this amendment.