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Progress Seen in NftL Blog Posts, but Challenges Remain

June 9th, 2005 · 6 Comments

Probably those of you who don’t daily pore over GAO reports don’t care, but dear lord, who writes the soporific headlines for Government Accountability Office studies? They all have exactly the same structure, and they’re almost entirely uninformative. If the Department of Foobar is doing pretty well, the headline will say: “Progress at DOF, but Improvements Possible.” If Department of Foobar employees have been butchering hundreds of toddlers for sport each year, and this time around butchered only 83, the headline would read “Progress Seen in DOF Toddler Program, but Challenges Remain.” Just once, I want to see a report titled: “Bureaucracy at Federal Agency Totally Apeshit Crazy, Complete Fucking Anarchy Imminent.”

Tags: Personal



6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Raccoon Man // Jun 10, 2005 at 3:12 pm

    I think the preferred spelling is FUBAR, or “F****d Up Beyond All Recognition”. WW2 military jargon.

  • 2 Chris // Jun 13, 2005 at 3:16 pm

    Remember, GAO is staffed mainly by accountants. These folks are not renowned for their creativity. The title structure is fairly standard in the auditing community.

  • 3 Daniel // Jun 13, 2005 at 7:19 pm

    Actually, I don’t think it’s even really GAO’s fault. Most non-profits in DC come up with equally awful titles. I’m always trying to get my office to publish reports with five line titles reminiscent of academia or eighteenth-century novels. But then they always make me change it to something shorter, but still lame. It would be great to actually see GAO publish a study called ââ?¬Å?This Program Sucks,ââ?¬Â though.

  • 4 Brian Moore // Jun 14, 2005 at 11:42 am

    Hey, if they wrote interesting titles, then people might right them.

    And you know where that would end up.

  • 5 Brian Moore // Jun 14, 2005 at 11:43 am

    “people might *read them”

  • 6 Julian Sanchez // Jun 16, 2005 at 3:45 pm

    Raccoon Man-
    Right, I know; it’s old programmer jargon: probably riffing off the old “FUBAR” acronym, it was common for people writing or talking about code, especially in the 60s and 70s, to use variables “Foo” and “Bar” as placeholders. So, for instance, if I were explaining how a program worked and needed to get across that there were two variables, I might say: “then this function asks the user to provide a value for Foo, and multiplies it by Bar.”