RE: Funny Tech Writing

Subject: RE: Funny Tech Writing
From: "David Downing" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 13:40:30 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Lisa MacDonald [mailto:lisa -dot- macdonald -at- eu -dot- citrix -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 6:23 AM
Subject: RE: Funny Tech Writing

[snip], I didn't really
find this manual to be that funny. [snip] humour is subjective and can
lose a lot in translation or when read by other
English speaking countries (what Americans think is humorous may not
necessarily be seen as such by the British, for example). I thought the
writing was a bit contrived - sort of like when CEOs send messages
company-wide, try to be "cool" and use phrases like "you guys rock!".


I agree with Lisa about these potential problems with humor in technical
writing -- although I confess I didn't read the manual in question --
and I would like to add one more. When people go to a manual, it's
often the case that the last thing they want is humor. They want to
know "Why won't this [deleted expletive] thing do what it's supposed
to?" or "Oh, no! I just deleted all those files that the company
president told me to copy. Is there any way to get them back?" In
other words, they're frustrated or upset over a problem they're having
and don't want any jokes.

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