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How much is the writing style important for average American readers/users?
SOME EXPLANATIONS ON THE ISSUE
I am fully aware that each words of the question above would deserve hundred
of lines - and even pages - of further explanation? Still, I deliberately
want the question to remain as generic as possible. I will give some more
details only on two of its aspects:
- Even if my interest mainly goes to technical documentation, I have
deliberately not specified any "document context" in my question: Feel free
to anwser with any contexts (B2B documents, public-oriented documents...)
and any types of documents (technical, marketing...) in mind!
- By "average American readers/users", I simply have in mind people who have
a true feeling of having an American culture. I know this is a shortcut but
the matter would be too broad to debate here.
Being asked to define the specificities of the American style of tehnical
writing, I would at once think of:
- date formats,
- measure units,
- spelling (labor vs. labour),
- "american words"(sidewalk vs. pavement),
- gender-neutral writing (s/he, she/he, his/her vs. their, etc.),
- punctuation and capitalization.
WHAT DO I WANT TO KNOW?
What I would like to know is:
- To what extent are each of the aspects listed above important for American
readers? You American people, how do you react?
- Are there other aspects not mentioned in the above list that are of
crucial importance for an American readership?
- When planning for internationalization, is it important to keep two sets
of documents: one targeted for the American market, and another one target
for an international audience?
- How does an average American reader react when he reads a technical
document written in British English? Can this aspect be of prime importance
for business issues?
Well, I would have loads of questions. You would have understood that I'm
interested in hearing your opinion, discovering facts and references on this
Of course, you would also have understood I'm not American! :-)
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