Friday, October 24, 2014

Interlude 7: The Importance of Clarity in Communication

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Be Aware: This memo has been sanitized to remove information you are not authorized to access.

Memo – Reminder on Phraseology

To: Task Force HIEROPHANT, All Members
From: Pir-Q7811

After the incident at REDACTED, it has come to my attention that the word “vampire” has eight separate meanings in HIEROPHANT documents:

  • VAMPIRE, a prehuman reptilian species formerly found on earth, known in DocInt as “Snake Men”
  • HOMING PIGEON, plasma-based entities known in DocInt as “Fire Vampires”
  • VERBOSE RABBIT, semicorporeal entities known in DocInt as “Star Vampires”
  • Vampire Squid, oceanic invertebrate formerly native to Earth, now extinct
  • Vampires' Lounge”, nickname for the Senior Officers' Canteen on Melanicus

This is not acceptable, and it has had serious consequences. After receiving reports that REDACTED was under attack by “vampires”, a rapid response unit was deployed with specialized cryonic weapons, expecting to face an infestation of HOMING PIGEON. In all likelihood, we would not have been able to REDACTED even if the team had been equipped with weaponry appropriate to REDACTED, but it illustrates the vital importance of clarity in communication.

Obviously, resolving this situation will not be simple. For the moment, I suggest that we only refer to these entities by their security phrases. In addition, I have ordered the animatronic vampire removed from the Senior Officers' Canteen. I don't yet have any good ideas for what we should do about squids, besides always specifying that we are referring to squids if/when we discuss them. I am convening a subcommittee of the HIEROPHANT InfoCon Committee to discuss longer-term measures, designated formally as the Security Phraseology Clarification Subcommittee, and covered by security phrase DICTIONARY ATTACK.

Incidentally, please make note that “Fire Vampires” are no longer filed under the security phrase FIRE VAMPIRE, and a certain someone who should know better is now retaking the HIEROPHANT infocon training briefing. Honestly, I expect this sort of behavior from a neophyte, but not from a senior officer with millennia of experience and an Honors List as long as my arm.

Pir-Q7811, on behalf of the HIEROPHANT InfoCon Committee

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