RE: Generally, what do you think of generally?

Subject: RE: Generally, what do you think of generally?
From: "Ackerson, Allan" <aackerson -at- logicon -dot- com>
To: Roy Jacobsen <rjacobse -at- GreatPlains -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 07:54:37 -0800

Nobody said that adverbs AND adjectives lead to generalization, least of all
I. I said that adverbs are unnecessary in technical writing. You can't
write descriptive sentences without adjectives. On the other hand, the
quality of most writing is improved by eliminating adverbs and substituting
stronger verbs.

Next time please read what was written before attacking the writer's
opinion.

Cheers!
Al

-----Original Message-----
From: Roy Jacobsen [mailto:rjacobse -at- GreatPlains -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2000 8:35 AM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: RE: Generally, what do you think of generally?


Bzzzzt! Sorry, but that's incorrect. Who says adverbs and adjectives
invariably lead to generalization? Right there was an adjective that is
precise.

We shouldn't condemn entire classes of words to the dustbin because they can
be used to write unclear prose. And it is possible to write unclearly while
avoiding adjectives and adverbs. The root of unclear writing is not the
choice of words, but an unclear understanding by the writer, in my opinion.

Roy M. Jacobsen
Documentation Supervisor
Great Plains
1701 38th Street Southwest
Fargo, ND 58103
USA

"[The Y2K bug] was sorta like dodge ball. You hardly ever get hit by the
ball you see." -- Patricia Jacobsen (age 12)

Ackerson, Allan [mailto:aackerson -at- logicon -dot- com] wrote:
>Kill all adverbs in technical writing. By definition, technical writing is
>precise. If you can't express a concept without generalizations become a
>novelist. See Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" for the best short
>treatment of clear writing.

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