RE: If You Were Gonna Teach...

Subject: RE: If You Were Gonna Teach...
From: "Jane Carnall" <jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 16:20:08 -0000

Tom Murrell asks:
> But what
I'm really interested in are the four or five things that you would like to
your contributors stop doing or do better that would improve both document
writing (Requirements, Designs, etc.) and even email communications.>

1. Not to add their own brand new styles to Word. (This is a Tools thing,
not a writing thing, but there is almost nothing they can do that will cause
me more trouble.)

2. One idea, one sentence. One sentence, one idea.

3. Commas are not rationed. (Seriously, a brief outline of basic punctuation
and how it is used to structure sentences, done in some memorable fashion
with humourous yet accurate examples, would do as much as anything else
would for comprehension.)

4. The difference between company argot, industry jargon, and plain English.

-Company argot is the terms this company has invented for the things it
does. If there is already a generally-understood *within the industry*
jargon term for the same thing, consider using jargon rather than argot.

-Industry jargon is widely understood by people who work in a specific area:
if the document is intended for users within that area, use the jargon term:
if it is intended for newcomers and/or for people outside the area, or if
there is no one generally understood jargon term, include a definition in
plain English.

-"Plain English is language that the intended audience can understand and
act upon from a single reading: see ."

Jane Carnall
Technical Writer, Digital Bridges, Scotland
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone. Apologies
for the long additional sig: it is added automatically and outwith my


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If You Were Gonna Teach...: From: Tom Murrell

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