On the care and feeding of your designated briefwriter
Why the new pope does not need a Roman number

Ever read a brief requiring this warning?

The good folks at Improbable Research call our attention to a document by the Department of Energy. The first page warns, “Portions of this document are illegible.” I have scrolled through it, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s no worse than some briefs or attached exhibits that I have strained to decipher.

The lesson: Presentation is important. If they can’t read it, they won’t. So make sure that your copier produces sharp copies. And make sure that any attached exhibits are readable. This may involve an archeological expedition in search of the most readable version of something that may have run through generations of photocpies and faxes. If you want your readers to actually read the damned thing, give them a version that they can actually read.

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