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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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CIAのスタイルガイド

 
7月に話題になったニュースで恐縮ですが、CIAが内部に発表していたスタイルガイドが公表されたそうです。CIAは報告書を書くのにどのように指導しているのか、英語学習者としても興味がわきますね。

CIA Style Manual (約190ページ)

190ページもあるのでオリジナルを全部目を通してはいませんが、結構まともなことを言っているようです。

The CIA's Style Guide Is Surprisingly Good
CHRISTINA STERBENZ
JUL. 9, 2014, 3:10 PM

以下のような部分は一般の人にも役立ちそうです。受動態や形容詞、副詞を過度に使わないというおなじみのものです。

Favor active voice. "Lifeguards clear beaches when forecasters predict storm." Not: "Beaches are cleared when storms are forecast."

On that note, avoid beginning sentences with "there is" or "there are." Instead, look for a stronger verb.

"Be frugal in use of adjective and adverbs; let nouns and verbs show their own power."

CIAならではのルールというのも紹介してくれています。CIAがWarとwarとをかき分けていたなんて知りませんでした。

Here are some other strange points:
Don't capitalize the "w" in Vietnam war because it was "undeclared," just like the Yom Kippur war and the Falklands war. (I had to Google both.)

Treaties that haven't been ratified don't get the uppercase treatment, either. Write "Treaty of Paris" but "Kyoto treaty."

Casualties, surprisingly, refer to all persons injured, captured, or missing in action, as well as those killed.

"'Disinformation' refers to the deliberate planting of false reports. 'Misinformation' equates in meaning but does not carry the same devious connotation.'" (Whatever that means.)

disinformationとmisinformationについては、言葉についてのエッセイを書いているBen Zimmerさんも取り上げていました。

Disinformation: A Deliberately Devious Word
The CIA's style guide makes a careful distinction between misinformation and disinformation
By BEN ZIMMER
July 11, 2014 9:18 p.m. ET

(ロングマン)
disinformation
false information which is given deliberately in order to hide the truth or confuse people, especially in political situations
[->misinformation]:
government disinformation about the effects of nuclear testing

misinformation
incorrect information, especially when deliberately intended to deceive people [-> disinformation]

CIAルールといえるものをもう少し詳しく紹介してくれているのが以下の記事です。

The CIA Released Their Style Guide, and It's Absolutely Fascinating
by Jami Oetting
Date July 14, 2014 at 8:00 AM

ビックリマークは使わないなどのコネタを抜粋してみました。

Exclamation Point
Because intelligence reports are expected to be dispassionate, this punctuation mark should rarely, if ever, be used.

Feel
carries tricky emotional overtones. If a piece of analysis says the leaders of another country feel a certain way, the policymaking reader may conclude that the writer is identifying with those leaders -- and perhaps criticizing the policymaker. You are on safer ground with calculate or estimate, whose relationship to the policymaker's operational world is unambiguous.


Could, May, Might
Both may and might deal with possibility. For many, might carries an implication of greater uncertainty on the part of the writer, Again, the construction provides little enlightenment unless it offers further analysis. Country A may invade Country B if President X gets the support of Country C. Country A might invade Country B if President X can persuade the legislature to back him.

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