RE: Style Guide Help

Subject: RE: Style Guide Help
From: "walden miller" <wmiller -at- vidiom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 13:19:37 -0600

Bruce writes:
> If you actually want the style guide to be used, then keep it as
> brief as possible and deal mainly with usages common to the
> company and the industry. Otherwise, you can spend months
> crafting a complete style guide, but you'll find that nobody will
> use it, either for writing or for reviewing.

I cannot disagree more.

A style guide must be complete and include paragraph template and font
template use. The style guide must be a living document that grows as
necessary. A style guide should take months to complete.

Style guides that merely tell you to use the templates as they exist on a
server somewhere do the new writer a disservice.

Granted, it helps to have a copyeditor to enforce a style guide. But even
more, it helps to have a staff that understands the necessity of being
consistant and not making tiny changes to each template to suit the needs of
the individual writer.

The style guide will eventually become ingrained. At first, it is a pain
and it will be used for review, etc. In the long run, it is used for
training new writers to a system of documentation described in the style

Walden Miller
Director, Vidiom Systems
Boulder, Colorado

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