I'm not sure what gets into me, sometimes.
browsing around The Internets and noticed that the DI Style Manual, the
CIA's guide to excruciatingly precise writing, has been made available
by the legal nonprofit National Security Counselors, following a Freedom of Information Act* request.
action wasn't Snowdenesque, that's for sure. There's nothing in there
that's gonna get me chased around Europe, or cause any stirrings in any
of the government alphabet soup--after all, this document has been
available for over a year.
I did it for my fellow
writers. While you can find this kind of totalitarianism in any style
guide, from the MMoS (Microsoft Manual of Style) to the CMoS (Chicago
Manual of Style), there is something sweet about realizing that as a
well-educated writer and editor, you probably could have worked for the
In addition, for those of us in the trade who
sometimes wonder if there's a precedent for the proper spelling and
capitalization of 'hover craft' (only if it is really a Hovercraft,
otherwise, no caps and two words) or whether to capitalize the word
'war' in an undeclared war versus a declared one. (No and yes, except
the Iran-Iraq war, which while declared, for some reason is uncapped by
Hey, I don't make the rules, I just quote 'em!
So, for militant editors everywhere, I bring you the Directorate of Intelligence Style Manual & Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications.
*Government in the sunshine, for us Floridians. I hope the government doesn't burn up.