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Subtle humor in official documents


Dear Leader
Staff member
I'm looking for good examples of humor in official documents, such as hand-outs, land use and zoning regulations, and so on. Including the rewrite of the zoning code, I'm also writing handouts that cover every departmental functions.

Example -- in a handout regarding an overlay district that covers all land adjacent to the major traffic corridor in town, I include the following picture:

Linden Smith

About four years ago, I had just finished rewriting the zoning ords for the county I was in. When the planning commission voted to approve the changes, they also directed me to publish a new set for distribution to the public, for sale at the low low price of $40. Usually, these go for a price below the cost of printing, but this time they felt like it would be ok to recoup some costs, thinking those that bought a copy of the zoning ordinance were able to afford it. This is also the kind of area where they have unreasonable expectations about planning and zoning and many arguments arise over the smallest details.

The last thing I did before sending the new ordinance out to the printers was craft the back cover. In two inch high type, the back cover read "CAVEAT EMPTOR".