Re(4): I suppose this is my most frustrating grammar error

Subject: Re(4): I suppose this is my most frustrating grammar error
From: Jan Henning <henning -at- r-l -dot- de>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 17:58:13 +0100

>from the Introduction on page v of the Evil Style Guide That Corrupts All
>"...this guide is TO HELP MICROSOFT WRITERS AND EDITORS maintain
>consistency WITHIN AND ACROSS PRODUCTS. It is not a set of rules. It does
>provide guidelines that have been discussed and reviewed by experienced
>writers and editors across the COMPANY. These guidelines represent their

That underlines what has been said before: It isn't even consistent with
itself ;-)

Likely, the introduction is from the tech writers and the cover blurbs
from the marketing guys (and gals). But that doesn't let the writers off
the hook: If the introduction told the full story ("this guide is to help
Microsoft writers and editors maintain consistency within and across
products."), why are they selling it in normal bookstores? Surely
"Microsoft writers and editors" are not supposed to order their copies at

This discussion is very much a storm in a teacup. The MS Style Guide
certainly has its uses, particularly regarding which terms to use when
describing MS software (e.g., Windows). But it is hard to avoid the
impression that in marketing it the way they do ("The standard...") they
have bitten off more than they can chew - even if (especially if!) the
writers never intended this.

Jan Henning

Jan Henning
Am Schlossberg 14, D-82547 Eurasburg, Germany

Phone: +49 700 0200 0700, Fax: +49 81 79 93 07 12
E-Mail: henning -at- r-l -dot- de, Web:
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