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: Mark Baker <mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 13:39:48 -0800

And how do ADVERBS help do that in technical writing?

Cheers!
Al

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Baker [mailto:mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2000 10:16 AM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Generally, what do you think of generally?


Ackerson, Allan 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.

And while you're on, beat up the prepositions, cripple the pronouns, and
give the gerunds the flu.

Technical writing is a job title, not a writing style.

All we do is write how-to books. The diversity of subjects and audiences for
how-to books is far too broad to permit any generalizations about style or
appropriate language.

And, to be precise:

* Technical writing is not precise "by definition", it is precise "of
necessity", which is quite a different thing.

* You can't express a concept without generalization. A concept is a
generalization. (Webster's defines concept as "an abstract of generic idea
generalized from particular instances".)





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