jason christoper hartley

April 6, 2009

Propriety Fail

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jason Christopher Hartley @ 4:48 pm

I’ve been taking some online correspondence courses through the Army today to increase the points I get used to determine promotion. I just finished a course on offensive electronic warfare. The edition was dated 1994. Now I’m working on a course on copy editing. One topic covered in this course is the consideration of propriety when writing. It reads:


In journalism, propriety is writing that uses good sense and good taste. As an Army journalist, it is your responsibility to ensure that your writing is in good taste and doesn’t violate the sensitivities of the community.

There are several things you should avoid in your writing.

  • vulgarity
  • gore
  • obscenity
  • lewdness
  • perversion
  • excessive violence (AR 360-5, Public Information, doesn’t spell out what “excessive violence” is. Use common sense and your knowledge of your community as guides)
  • information that holds the service or its members up to ridicule

Poor taste knows no bounds. It is just as wrong to quote a professional football player saying, “We’re going to kick their asses,” as it is to quote a soldier saying, “That FTX was really screwed up.”

I would fail as an Army journalist.