We're not sure if this is good or bad news . But there's a new software program out that helps people write in government style -- whatever that is. Seems the folks at San Francisco-based Reference Software International, which produces Grammatik writing-improvement software, found they had lots of customers who were government contractors. Unfortunately, Grammatik kept complaining that their favorite phrases were jargon. So Reference Software International obligingly produced a government edition. The company diplomatically promises that "where government writing guidelines conflict with standard writing rules, Grammatik cites both."

-- Martha E. Mangelsdorf