Gates Feeling Acrimonious about Acronyms? DoD Limits Alphabet Soup

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates; Photo: dod.gov, bubblyfunk.com

The Defense Department’s executive secretary issued a memo this week instructing DoD officials to refrain from using acronyms in written correspondence with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, according to a report on Federal News Radio.

According to the memo, sent by Michael Bruhn Nov. 30, which was first reported on by politics and gossip site Wonkette, Bruhn wrote that acronyms have proliferated throughout the DoD with often confusing results.

“Many acronyms have multiple meanings and are not always well known outside a particular organization,” he wrote. “Although using acronyms in written material is intended to make writing clearer, their misuse or abuse does the exact opposite.”

All written material prepared for Gates and the deputy secretary of defense, William J. Lynn III, must minimize the use of acronyms, “effective immediately,” Bruhn wrote.

If officials just can’t resist from using the wee, dotted terms, they must include a glossary, the memo stated.

Other DoD personnel, befuddled by DoD’s plethora of acronyms, will have to hit the books, i.e. the DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.

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