Re: "Obvious" warnings - drawing the line

Subject: Re: "Obvious" warnings - drawing the line
From: letoured -at- together -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 04 Aug 2002 13:40:24 -0400

In <CA51E1F85AA51E4B97AABDABE53298B42DC045 -at- osiris -dot- users -dot- com>, on 08/01/02
at 07:05 PM, "David Downing" <Daviddowning -at- users -dot- com> said:

>I've been following the thread about warning that are so obvious as to be
>stupid, and it seems that the burning question -- and the practical one for
>technical writers -- is: Where do you draw the line between something that
>"anybody oughta know" and something that people may legitimately not be aware
>of and thus have a legitimate need to be warned against? Okay, it's probably
>general knowledge that you
>shouldn't point a loaded gun at any living thing that youwant to stay that
>way, but is it general knowledge that an unplugged TV can still give you a
>nasty shock because of static electricity?

The answer is not that complicated. -- The general rule is simple;

If doing something or not doing it can lead to an injury or death, it gets a
warning. If doing something or not doing it can lead to equipment damage, it
gets a caution note. And if there is something that isn't part of a step or
sequence, but useful to the user, it gets an advisory note -- especially if
the lack of the information could lead to an action that would call for a
warning or caution at a later point in the procedure.

Think "root cause" for general guidance; If the worse happened, could one
element of prevention be traced back to the lack of a warning, caution or
note. If so, it needs one of them.

letoured -at- together -dot- net

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"Obvious" warnings - drawing the line: From: David Downing

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