Re: grammar questions (was the whole VP thread)

Subject: Re: grammar questions (was the whole VP thread)
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 11:07:01 -0700

"Swallow, William" wrote:

> Maybe I'm just out of touch with the REAL tech writing world, but shouldn't
> we be using references and so forth at least on an occasional basis to get
> our work done?

You make a good point. However, often people are writing about a point
that doesn't really have a single correct answer. They might get a
definitely worded answer from one source, and a wholly different answer
from another source.

However, that only puts the issue at one remove. What I find disturbing
about such questions is that the posters don't seem to realize that all
they have to do is make a choice between "vice-president" and "vice
president" (or whatever) and use it consistently - and that which choice
they make is often irrelevant to clarity or any other goal of writing.

That's why I rarely wade into these discussions. After all, how many
times can I say, "Make a choice and stick with it?" It gets boring for
me, and, I'm sure, for everyone else.

Besides, if anyone ever listened to me (not that they do :-) ), the
remark would tend to end the discussion abruptly. And no one really
wants that; unless I'm mistaken, these threads are a form of light
conversation: excuses for making social contact with peers.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com

"Maybe there were two sides to that affair of Cain,
And Judas was a tolerable chap."
-G. K. Chesterton


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