RE: Purpose Statement for Style Guide

Subject: RE: Purpose Statement for Style Guide
From: Maurice King <mking2 -at- mamsi -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 07:54:30 -0400

Speaking as someone who has found it necessary to write in-house style
guides on almost all the projects I have managed in the past year, I think
that today, most companies use a standard style guide such as Microsoft or
Chicago as the basis for their style conventions but have the team
leader/lead writer write an in-house style guide to define those
conventions that are specific to the company and that may clarify some
policies that exist in the company because of specific legal requirements
or the like. In one project, I had to create such a style guide that often
referenced another standard style guide; however, as the company in which I
worked was about to move towards ISO 9001 compliance, I had to write quite
a bit of explanation about standards that I had devised that would later
take on greater significance long after I had moved on.

While I have found the life of a contractor very thankless and, happily,
have managed to put that life behind me, perhaps the strongest recommend
ation that I was able to produce was from this company for which I had
foreseen future obstacles and had provided solutions in advance. The fact
that I wrote all these things in the in-house style guide was the part that
the company found invaluable. Although I did not remain with that company
because my contractual obligation had ended, I know they still value me for
that reason.

- Maury

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