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Must, Can, Should, May


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In the world of software coding standards, the words shall, will, and should have special meaning. Shall is manditory and must be verified. Will is manditory but verification is not required. Should is advisory (in other words, it is recommended but you won't get fired for not doing it).


Is there a similar situation in RONR?


It almost appears that must, can, should, and may have a difference in significance. On page 43 we see some of these words used together (emphasis mine).


Without permission of the assembly, no one can speak longer than permitted by the rules of the body--or, in non-legislative assembly that has no rule of its own relating to the length of speeches, longer than ten minutes.


Debate must be confined to the merits of the pending question. Speakers must address their remarks to the chair, maintain a courteous tone, and--especially in reference to any divergence of opinion--should avoid injecting a personal note into debate. To this end, they must never attack or make any allusion to the motives of members. As already noted, speakers should refer to officers only by title and should avoid the mention of other members' names as much as possible.


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