Re: Display or appear (Was: Can "either" be used ... )

Subject: Re: Display or appear (Was: Can "either" be used ... )
From: "Mark L. Levinson" <nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 13:24:24 +0200

Bruce writes:
> Personally, I am far more interested in writing well than writing
> correctly. Not that the two are necessarily mutually exclusive,
> you understand. Still, if I had to choose one over the other,
> I'd choose to write well. And if that means breaking every rule
> of correctness, I can live with that.

> After all, the early prescriptive grammarians faulted Shakespeare
> heavily for all sorts of things ...

If Shakespeare's readers and audiences were overwhelmed by the
beauty of his language, good for Shakespeare. If readers of
technical writing notice the language at all, not so good.
Our purpose as technical writers is not to attract attention
to our writing, and any non-standard grammar or innovative
terminology attracts attention to the writing. All the
attention should be directed to what we are saying, not to
how we are saying it.

If you have an idea for improving the language, and you would
like to incorporate it in your technical writing, you should
make sure that the benefit of the improvement is worth the
cost of distracting the reader.

Mark L. Levinson - nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il - Herzlia, Israel


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