SAQ (seldomly asked questions!): attitude and audience?

Subject: SAQ (seldomly asked questions!): attitude and audience?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 08:14:48 -0500

Forwarded by a friend, who's currently testing out an alternative e-mail
client for the Mac called "Mulberry":

As well as a FAQ, they have a set of "Seldomly-Asked-Questions" on
their website, which includes the following:

Do you guys speak English, or American?

Answer: We are a company of mixed Anglo-American heritage, and
consequently our running interpretations of the English language
have been noticeably changing over the past few years. We presently
favour, er, favor, US spellings in the user interface of Mulberry
and its documentation, in deference to our current home office, but
in the future will be adding an internationalization/localization
(er, localisation) option at install time for British, US, and
Canadian spellings.

We cannot do anything about the preferred vowels on the Speech
Manager support on the Macintosh version. Ask your local Apple rep.

We would like to go on record publically denying the rumour, er,
rumor, that our Canadian version will add "Eh?" to the end of every
menu item.

techwr-l tie-in: As an audience issue, I love this tongue-in-cheek attitude,
and it would inspire me to have a good look at the software to see whether
it meets my needs, particularly after reading the often painfully dry
approach adopted by Microsoft et al. But I doubt this attitude would be very
effective for corporate clients--which these developers almost certainly
aren't trying to reach. Interesting approach! I'm wondering if anyone who
does write for a mixed (and potentially corporate) audience ever presents
their less crucial information with this kind of "attitude".

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that
English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words;
on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them
unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."-- James D. Nicoll


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