Out of style?

Subject: Out of style?
From: Longtime tech writer <righteouswriter -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 15:28:48 -0700 (PDT)

Hi all,

I need a reality check from other technical writers.

I've recently joined a small software company where my
style conflicts with that of the other two technical
writers (perhaps you'll forgive me if I don't attach
my name to this posting).

I dutifully comply with some styles I don't like. It's
part of the job. But others make me cringe. I'm
neither a prescriptive linguist, nor an editor. But it
seems to me we're dumbing down rules for no good
reason. Here are two examples:

1. In chapter titles, all words longer than three
letters are set in initial caps. This includes
prepositions. Has anyone ever heard of this style
before? FYI, we use common sentence-style
capitalization for headings within chapters.

2. When introductory statements contain "the
following" or "as follows," a colon is used _only_
when "following" or "follows" are the last words.

According to my group, both of the following are

Use the following format.

The format is as follows:

The following, however, is incorrect:

Use the following format:

I'm accustomed to using a colon when enumerated items
follow an introductory statement directly--even if
"follows" or "following" are not the last words. A
period stops the flow, and is used only when the
introductory statement is complete, and other
sentences or explanations separate it from the
enumerated items.

Is anyone else using my company's style?

Am I just out of style?
I'd really appreciate your perspective.


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