While trawling the far reaches of the Netflix galaxy, I encountered that fixture of the Western canon, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. I leave it to others to explore the glories of this oeuvre. What caught my attention is what happens at 54:00. Spock’s protege Saavik (below) reminds Admiral Kirk of General Order 15:
No flag officer shall beam into a hazardous area without armed escort.
It’s reassuring to know that in a future of warp drive and the Genesis Device, among other marvels, drafters of legal documents will still be overdosing on shall. Me, I’d have said “A flag officer may beam into a hazardous area only with an armed escort.”
If in the twenty-third century Starfleet wishes to fine-tune the General Orders, my cryogenically frozen head will be available for consulting at my usual rates, adjusted for inflation.
3 thoughts on “Evidence for Continued Overuse of “Shall” in the Twenty-Third Century”
I hope the holo-deck will have a program on drafting contracts – an interactive version of MSCD 78th edition.
To make the order clearer, I would have said, “A flag officer may not beam into a hazardous area unless they have an armed escort.”
Yes, there are different ways to improve on General Order 15. But I’m not sure your version is clearer. Let’s submit competing bids when in 2256 Starfleet puts out an RFP for revisions to the General Orders.
Three cheers for your rational use of “they”!