RE: Proposal Writing: Second Person vs. Third Person

Subject: RE: Proposal Writing: Second Person vs. Third Person
From: KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2001 15:53:59 -0500

In my limited exprience, most of those folk you listed
will understand their own place in the scheme, and will
still read the inclusive "you" as "somebody in this
organization"...

Similarly, in my manuals, I say "[you] do this or
that", knowing that in some shops "this" will be
an administrator's function and "that" will be a
user function, while in other shops one person does
it all. I've had the odd complaint about my docs for
other reasons [blush], but nobody has ever hesitated over
a "you" (implied or explicit) that included other bodies
in their company. In other words, people don't seem
to stumble just because a "you" can be read (sometimes
in the same document) as both singular and plural.

They think: "Hmm, I guess *somebody* here has to get
this part done, but I dunno how, so I'll go see the
IT dept., or the finance dept."

The material gets across the point that certain tasks
must be accomplished. The "you" brings inclusiveness and
imperative immediacy to the description.

But yeah, there are still some places where it's either
not appropriate... or not allowed to be appropriate... ahem!

/kevin

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jim Shaeffer [mailto:jims -at- spsi -dot- com]

> I (Jim) agree with the Credit Card Contract Model that
> Kevin recommends (and some other good suggestions from
> this thread about mixing Persons in the document).

> However, my point referred primarily to the fact that
> proposals are frequently reviewed by parties who are
> _not_ going to do the work described in the proposal.
> The varius "yous" could be: the persons doing the job,
> financing the job, approving the output, writing the
> checks to pay for the job, scheduling the job, outsourcing
> the subcontracts to complete the job, creating the
> contract to implement the proposal, etc. etc.

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