Writing tips from the CIA’s ruthless style manual
July 8, 2014
So the CIA’s style manual got posted after being liberated in a Freedom on Information Act sweep. If you grew up with Strunk & White then you’ll have at least mild curiosity about what the CIA tells its writers. Turns out a lot of the same stuff. They want “crisp and pungent” language “devoid of jargon.” And they are remarkably clear-eyed about some charged words, c.f. regime.
This has been making the rounds and it is fun to see on what bits different commentators choose to focus. My favorite set of comments from Mental_floss 11 Grammar Lessons From the Leaked CIA Style Book | featured the redundancy list e.g. accidentally misfired. (Michalko)