Re: Generally, what do you think of generally?

Subject: Re: Generally, what do you think of generally?
From: Jon Beckton <Jon -dot- Beckton -at- asml -dot- nl>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2000 15:34:02 +0100

"Blaine, Karen L." wrote:
>
> My gut feeling when reading a
> document using those words is that the material comes across as
> condescending. I often see "typically" and "generally" in documents written
> by programmers, especially the prima donnas. Each word places a slightly
> judgmental twist on the context of the rest of the sentence, implying that I
> should see what is obvious and that I may be too stupid or ignorant to do
> so.
>
I don't think the use of these words is judgemental or condescending at
all. What it is is uncertainty. I think that what the programmer is
trying to say is "This piece of code does this action 999 times out of
1000 but, for some reason we can't figure out, sometimes it doesn't. We
warned you so don't try to sue us when it happens!" The legal department
love this kind of CYA writing!

Jon Beckton




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