Re: Things not to put after a full stop.

Subject: Re: Things not to put after a full stop.
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 05:53:20 -0700 (PDT)

--- Dick Margulis <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net> wrote:
> At the high level, though, let me put it this way. There is such a thing as a
> well-formed utterance, that is, one that is recognized by native speakers as being
> part of the language. And there is such a thing as an ill-formed utterance, one
> that is not recognized as being part of the language.

I agree with the notion that readers can recognize the "well-formed utterance" and
distinguish it from the "ill-formed utterance." I'm not sure I would limit the
recognition to native speakers alone, however. (But then I suspect you didn't intend
to rule out the competent reader form whom English is not the primary language or
the first language learned.

> So let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Otherwise, we'll all be out of
> a job and the developers and marketers will write the doc.

Gee, I am troubled by the notion that we sustain our jobs by the development of a
set of rules so arcane that only we can properly execute them, thereby insuring that
we have employment. I don't know how much of my job is dependent on knowing and
following the rules and how much of it is dependent on how effectively I help people
communicate information. I know that if I can more effectively communicate by
breaking the rules, I do so. But I also know that technical writing is not about
having arguments with SMEs and readers over things like comma use or whether there
should or should not be a semi-colon here or there or whether a sentence can be
started with a conjunction.

Tom Murrell
mailto:tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com
Personal Web Page - Last Updated 07/19/02
--The opinions expressed in this email are least I think they're mine...I'm almost positive.--

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Re: Things not to put after a full stop.: From: Dick Margulis

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