RE. Really basic question: status types?

Subject: RE. Really basic question: status types?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 08:17:13 -0400

Candie McKee wonders: <<I have three possible status types. Do I say
statuses or something else?>>

Editors have a criterion known as the "it looks (or smells) funny"
criterion. If something reads oddly to you, then there's a good chance that
it will read oddly to your audience too, and another good chance that
there's really something wrong with it even if you don't know exactly what.
In this case, you have "three possible status types"; whether or not
"statuses" exists, it fails the ILF criterion, and since "status types"
works just fine, at the cost of four more letters, stick with that wording.

<<I know. That's a really basic question.>>

All of which have basically important answers. Master the basics now; worry
about the details later.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer

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