Microspeak: Light reading (ironic)

Raymond Chen

It’s not quite Microspeak, but it is a sort of Microjoke: Referring to a document as “light reading”.

In common parlance, “light reading” is something that is easy to read without requiring significant mental effort: A magazine that covers celebrity comings and goings, a romantic comedy novel, a travel story. If you choose to read them, they are typically enjoyable content that doesn’t require close reading and which you can put down at a moment’s notice. If you encounter a section that you find boring, you can just skip over it without serious repercussions.

At Microsoft, the term “light reading” is almost never used to mean that. Rather, it is used ironically to refer to a document that is one or more of the following: Lengthy, complex, mandatory.

All of the documents that were covered at the directors review are available on this site. Enjoy the light reading!

Some light reading for the Tuesday meeting: (lengthy email message follows)

Here’s a citation from outside Microsoft:

Just in case you wanted a little light reading, you can access the Apple TV’s software license agreement through the Settings menu.


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  • Erik Fjeldstrom 3

    In my experience, this light reading is expected to happen during your copious amounts of spare time.

  • Pavel Kostromitinov 0

    Kind of Hermione Granger’s light reading. But I assume this piece of Microspeak predates HP.

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