RE: Jobs in the G.W.N and one quick Q

Subject: RE: Jobs in the G.W.N and one quick Q
From: Marguerite Krupp <mkrupp -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 11:09:51 -0400

Ugly stuff, Erin!

Keith Cronin's right about company policy dictating the usage, BUT, here in
the U.S., at least, using the product name as a noun can endanger the
trademark. That is, in theory, at least, you must always use the product
name as an adjective. Because this leads to REALLY awful mouthfuls of words
["The VPN 3000 Series Concentrator device," for example], we usually spell
out the whole thing once and thereafter refer to it as "the Concentrator."
You could say the "Such-and-such application" once and establish the short
form, then refer to it thereafter with just the short form alone, using
initial cap on the name. I think you probably don't need italics.

Sounds like Planner and Manager are really *modules*, not "applications" on
their own. Again, corporate terminology applies, but calling them
"applications" implies that they can exist outside the parent application,
which could be misleading if that's not the case.

Now in your case, the product mangler has probably heard some such stuff and
is trying to apply the principle religiously.

I like your idea about substituting "you" for "the user," too. The current
usage is really distancing.

A suggestion: Do a couple of pages in your suggested style and run it by the
pm to get his/her buy in. Show how it helps "the user" get to the meat of
the description in a hurry. Listen to what the pm has to say; talk it over.
You may find that the pm never even thought of doing it any other way!


> I have been going through and deleting the extreme overuse of
> the words
> "the" and "application," so my example sentence would now
> read, "The Manage
> Plans button found throughout Planner links the user to
> Manager..." Maybe
> I'd italicize 'Planner' and 'Manager' or something, and if I
> wanted to get a
> little bit more nit-picky, I'd take out the reference to "the
> user" because
> I dislike that one too...
> My Q: Tell me, is it "proper" technique to say "the Such-and-such
> application" every time one references the application by
> name? What do you
> think?

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