Re: Instruction suggestions?

Subject: Re: Instruction suggestions?
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 11:28:22 -0600


I just gave your rewrite a quick scan - looks like a big improvement!

One thing I notice is your extensive use of future tense, like:

"Press F1. The widget will change into a woozle."

At my first tech writing job, my editor pounded it into my head that I
must stay in the present tense, like:

"Press F1. The widget changes into a woozle."

I'm not trying to start a nitpicking war; just reporting on something I
got slammed for when I was a newbie. To this day, _I_ don't find the
future tense that objectionable in this context, but some tech editors do.
You may find yourself in a shop with similar rules someday, so I'm just
pointing out a potential landmine.

It looks like your use of this tense is very consistent, and your meaning
is clear, so I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

- Keith Cronin


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