Glossary predicament?

Subject: Glossary predicament?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 09:01:25 -0400

Dinesh Nair wonders: <<I am preparing a product guide for a wireless billing
software. Do you guys think it would be a good idea to explain terms like
3G, 2.5g, 2g and IN in the glossary? Since the product guide would be read
by people who would like to know the benefits of the software, do I assume
the reader would be already familiar with these terms? Right now I am
thinking insulting the reader's intelligence is a far smaller risk than
trying the reader's patience.>>

Think of it this way: The only people who will actually read a glossary end
to end for fun are people who are trying to learn the terminology in your
subject area, and including these terms helps them learn. Those who don't
already understand the terms you've listed will, of course, be grateful to
find them in the glossary. Those who know the terms won't go looking for
them, and will only notice them by accident while they're searching for
another term; that means the terms better be technically correct too, not
just helpful to newbies.

By my tally, that's three pluses and no minuses. Guess what I recommend? <g>

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada
"User's advocate" online monthly at
"The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can
think."--Edwin Schlossberg, designer (1945- )

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