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04 Maj 2006 @ 15:05
A nomination  

On the basis of what I've learned from a couple of posts on Language Log, I'd like to nominate Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management, "by" William H. Swanson, for a special Disingenuity in Titling Award. As Carl Durrenberger pointed out, (at least a majority of) the rules aren't Swanson's, and they aren't unwritten, either. They're twice-written, having already appeared in W.J. King's The Unwritten Laws of Engineering. Which means that they aren't really "of management," either; they're mostly platitudes that apply equally well to engineering, management, or just about any job. (For instance, one of the rules Durrenberger cites is "Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements.") And they aren't really rules (or laws); they're "merely a bit of friendly advice," as Stuart Little would say. So the entire title, all five words of it—even the of—is a lie.

(Deleted comment)
Q. Pheevr: Lies damn lies and fishsticksq_pheevr on 4. Maj, 2006 13:05 (UTC)

I'd have to do a phone post to answer that one, wouldn't I?