Re: Future tense in instructions?

Subject: Re: Future tense in instructions?
From: "David Slonosky" <David_Slonosky -at- i2 -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 13:55:42 -0500

"will be displayed" is also passive voice, which most tech writers avoid like
the plague. Just being a fussy grammatarian.


Geoff hart <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA> on 01/21/2000 09:17:25 AM

Please respond to Geoff hart <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>

To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
cc: "'sybille -at- wowfabgroovy -dot- net'" <sybille -at- wowfabgroovy -dot- net> (bcc: David
Subject: Future tense in instructions?

<<When you click the X button the X dialog will be displayed>>

Again, the problem with "when". "Once you have clicked" would be more
grammatically correct if you prefer this style. Again, "appears" is much
shorter than "will be displayed", is much more direct, and eliminates any
uncertainty (will = will eventually, appears = it's going to happen now, in
response to what you just did). I've seen some argument against "appears"
(e.g., "appears to be what?"), and had reservations about this verb myself
back when I began techwhirling, but I now find the arguments unconvincing.
If you're skeptical, "will display" is perfectly acceptable, since "display"

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