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    #1

    Officious

    "'Shall' is one of those officious and obsolete words that has encumbered legal style writing for many years." (Federal Plain Language Guidelines: Use “must” to indicate requirements)

    I don't know what the writer means by "officious." None of the definitions provided on thefreedictionary.com (officious - definition of officious by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.) fit; "shall" is certainly not an informal word.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

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    #2

    Re: Officious

    I don't know that either. I also think "shall" is certainly not an obsolete word.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Officious

    How about this?

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    #4

    Re: Officious

    The same quote goes on to say

    "Shall" is also obsolete. When was the last time you heard it used in everyday speech?
    Let's just disagree with the statement that 'shall' is officious and obsolete, shall we?

    Rover

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    #5

    Re: Officious

    Apart from set phrases (like "shall we...?") and the law, it is basically obsolete in AmE.

    No mother tells her kids "today you shall clean your rooms."

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    #6

    Re: Officious

    "Obsolete" is not provided as a meaning of "officious" on thefreedictionary.com. The fourth meaning of "officious" - attentive or obliging - is obsolete.

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    #7

    Re: Officious

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen165 View Post
    "Obsolete" is not provided as a meaning of "officious" on thefreedictionary.com. The fourth meaning of "officious" - attentive or obliging - is obsolete.
    Nobody has said that 'officious' means 'obsolete'

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    #8

    Re: Officious

    Maybe it's me, but I only use "shall" (infrequently) when "will" doesn't carry enough weight. My favorite quote is from The Ten Commandments- the Pharao says: So it is written; so it shall be done!

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    #9

    Re: Officious

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen165 View Post
    "'Shall' is one of those officious and obsolete words that has encumbered legal style writing for many years." (Federal Plain Language Guidelines: Use “must” to indicate requirements)

    I don't know what the writer means by "officious." ..
    Any ideas?

    Thanks!
    Nor do I. I think it means that the writer doesn't know what 'officious' means. I think they're using it to imply 'not good'. It may sometimes be a feature of official language; that doesn't make it 'officious'.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 19-Jul-2012 at 20:31. Reason: Added last sentence

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    #10

    Re: Officious

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Nor dop I. I think it means that the writer doesn't know what 'officious' means.

    b
    He/she seems to think it means "official sounding."

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