1. Paragraph numbering

2. I work with a lot of civil servants. (A noun in itself, as opposed to a modified one.) One with whom I email regularly numbers all paragraphs in his emails, only sparing his salutation, valediction and signature this tortuous fate. (Even pre-valedictory statements like "Please get back to me if you have any questions" are deemed to warrant the numbering treatment.)

3. It’s a hangover from the necessary behaviour in government reports and memos, where paragraphs are numbered for future reference, documents that oft span multiple pages made up of 20+ paragraphs.

4. While in emails it clearly provides useful points of reference for future correspondence, I can’t help but feel that it destroys the beauty and natural flow of the English language, formularising something that should never be formularised. Are emails genuinely that long to warrant numerical segmentation? I think not.


3 Responses to “1. Paragraph numbering”

  1. art vandelay on August 8th, 2008 23:14

    1. well I like them
    2. so fuck you

  2. A month in : Tangential Ramblings on May 9th, 2009 13:00

    […] one outstanding bug that diverts all links to old posts using the old pLog URL structure to this post about paragraph numbering in the civil service.  Rob, if you can sort that last one out, that’d be […]

  3. Simon on May 9th, 2009 20:43

    Just seen this one; it’s got nothing to do with hangovers and everything to do with fucking mentalists. And yes, I do know who you mean.


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