RE: Re. Imperatives or not?

Subject: RE: Re. Imperatives or not?
From: "Scudder, Beth" <beth -dot- scudder -at- retek -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 10:11:03 -0500

When responding to Sierra Godfrey's post about imperatives (I'm
writing a manual which contains several sections with setp-by-step
directions. I have given the headings of the sections imperatives,
such as: "Set Network Addresses" and "Select the Operation Mode".
The manual is
in review right now and the main reviewer is my old nemesis from
earlier posts,
the engineer. He wants to change all imperative headings to "Setting
Addresses" and "Selecting the Operation Mode". ), it seems that most
of the posts I've seen have advocated the gerund form as the better one to
use in headings.

While I would have agreed with this standard before I started my
current job, I am now not quite so sure. Our products and documentation are
translated into a number of different languages. I have been told several
times, very emphatically, by the translations manager, that gerunds do not
really exist in languages other than English, and that this makes them
inaccurate, difficult, and expensive to translate.

Therefore, we don't use gerunds in our headings. We usually either
use the infinitive or the imperative (To Set Up... or Set Up... rather than
Setting Up...).

I was wondering whether anyone else who translates their
documentation has run into this problem with translating gerunds, and, if
so, how you choose to deal with it.



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