RE: Humor in technical writing

Subject: RE: Humor in technical writing
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 20:07:25 -0700

One reason to avoid humor that I don't believe that anyone has
pointed out yet:

Humor gets old fast.

The first time you read a joke, you may think it's funny. The
next time, it's mildly amusing. By the tenth time, it can be the
most irritating sentence every set to paper.

Consider the way of the bumper sticker, O tech-writer, and be

Another consideration: what sort of mood is your audience likely
to be in when it reads your efforts at humor? If members of your
audience are likely to be reading the manual only when all else
fails, they might be too impatient to appreciate your wit.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"There was nothing but fever and ghosts in the water,
How will I ever be simple again?"
-Richard Thompson, "Simple Again"

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