Getting something wrong in the first sentence is generally not a good sign, as demonstrated by the usually detail-oriented Katherine Mangu-Ward in this Reason.com piece:
The Pentagon’s brownie recipe is 26 pages long.
Um, no. The milspec [pdf] that governs brownies — and oatmeal cookies! — is indeed 26 pages long, but what we think of as the “recipe” is a single section that covers less than three pages. Everything else is just definitions and legalese.
Through hard experience the Pentagon has discovered that means detailed contracts and specifications. Having to go such a route undoubtedly adds cost to each individual item, but it lowers cost in the long run by avoiding issues such as having to destroy a million MREs because they aren’t shelf stable… The reason the specs are written in such stilted language, a source of Ms Mangu-Ward’s ire, is because it is a contract and lawyers will shred anything with any sort of ambiguity, which then adds cost again.
Having eaten a few MCIs in my day — chronologically, the MCI falls between the old C-ration and the newer MRE, though the “C-ration” designation persisted well into the MCI era — I am compelled to point out that there’s a lot to be said for infernal consistency.