RE: Generally, what do you think of generally?

Subject: RE: Generally, what do you think of generally?
From: "Murrell, Thomas" <TMurrell -at- alldata -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 08:02:18 -0500

> From: anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com[SMTP:anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com]
>
> Hi everyone.
> I won't take up too much time, I just have one question.
> My company has several products all of which have a few books written
> about them. As you might guess, the manager wants all of the books to look
> like
> they were written by the same person (let's not go there). I am not
> telling you this because I want to gripe/question about that issue. I am
> asking
> what you think about writing the books using a term like typically or
> generally, prior to telling what the reader/user should do. For example:
> Typically, on a rainy day you use an umbrella.
> rather than:
> On a rainy day you use an umbrella.
> My thoughts/concerns are that the former, when used in real life
> situations, is too wishy-washy. If it is something that they may or may
> not do (it is
> their call), I think they will be smart enough to not do it if they want
> to, even if you use directive language.
>
Generally, it depends on the type of documentation, the audience, and the
purpose of the documentation whether or not I think words like "generally"
are appropriate. Typically, I will try to avoid such words since I see them
as too qualitative. Usually, I prefer to use more direct language.
Fortunately, I don't have to work with people who want fuzzy language in our
documentation.

Hopefully, this response has helped.

Tom Murrell




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