Re: Humor in Technical Writing REVISITED

Subject: Re: Humor in Technical Writing REVISITED
From: Sandy Harris <sandy -at- storm -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2000 14:11:22 -0400

"David K. Rathbun" wrote:

> Many years ago, I found in a Borland book index "parrots, dead, _see_ dead
> parrots" and "dead parrots, _see_ parrots, dead" an obvious reference to
> the well-known Monty Python sketch. This reminded one of the engineers of
> another indexing joke: "recursive, _see_ recursive".

It reminds me of Stan Kelly-Bootle's wonderful books, "The Devil's DP
Dictionary" in the 70s and the recent revised version "The Computer
Contradictionary". Both have loop, endless: see endless loop, and the
recursive one too.

I bought four of these last year, using three as Christmas presents,
and I expect to buy another half-dozen this year.

sample definitions:

downtime n.: The period during which the system is stable and immune from
user input.

documentation n.: (latin docomentum, "warning"]
1. The promised literature which fails to arrive with the supporting hardware.
2. A single, illegible, photocopied page of proprietary caveats and suggested
3. The detailed, unindexed description of a superceded package.

As for indexing jokes, someone in another discussion I was in claimed there
was a text on English grammar That mentioned Dan Quayle only in the index.
The index entry for him pointed to a page discussing complements of the verb
"to be" which had the examples:

He is stupid. (adjectival complement)
He is a republican. (noun phrase)
He is from Indiana. (prepositional phrase)

This is from memory; I may have tha state wrong.

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