If necessity is the mother of invention, then what’s boiling wrath and mind-bending rage? The father?
The following war memo from 1944, penned by Smaller War Plants Corporation’s own “Chairman and Gen. Manager” Maury Maverick, might be all the proof we need to nail down that anger and unmitigated irritation is the daddy of, sometimes, a great creation.
Anyone who’s ever worked with or for the government will surely appreciate this:
As the story goes, Maverick (who was both a Texas politician and mayor of San Antonio) sent the memo to workers at his agency during World War II. As many have it, it’s the first usage of the word “gobbledygook” to define nonsense.
He would later elaborate on his literary invention, and explain precisely what it means in a piece for The New York Times Magazine:
“[It’s] talk or writing which is long, pompous, vague, involved, usually with Latinized words.” He said got it from picturing a turkey walking along “strutting with ridiculous pomposity.”
Our favorite bit of the memo though? This:
“For the Lord’s sake, be short and say what you’re talking about … no more patterns, effectuating, dynamics. Anyone using the words ‘activation’ and ‘implementation’ will be shot.”