RE: Funny Tech Writing

Subject: RE: Funny Tech Writing
From: KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 10:04:06 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lisa MacDonald [mailto:lisa -dot- macdonald -at- eu -dot- citrix -dot- com]
> Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 9:22 AM
> Renee Bryant wrote:

> > Considering the product and the audience, I think the
> writing style used
> in
> the Timex guide is very approprite. It's an excellent piece
> of writing
> that's not in the least bit "contrived" or overdone. The
> writer speaks
> directly to his audience to convey his message and impart his
> wisdom in a
> style that very skillfully gets and holds his reader's rapt
> attention --
> quite an achievement!!
> But that's my point - it's subjective. What you thought was
> excellent and
> appropriate, I thought (along with others who posted this
> both on and off
> list) it was overkill. Neither viewpoint is "correct"; what it does
> demonstrate is that this particular style of writing is
> somewhat risky.

I think it depends on the situation, the product, the audience.

In this case, the audience is "people who have bought this
particular multi-function wrist-mounted device". That
audience is mostly people who participate in certain
sports, and who most likely share the culture of those
sports, along with a sprinkling of wannabes.

Now, there are two kinds (TM) of folks who participate in
those sports:

1) those who enjoy the culture and socialization
as much as they do the participation in the actual
sport, and who therefore get a kick out of
an instruction booklet that does a respectable
job of fitting in, and of addressing them;

2) those who are grimly competitive and technical
in the sport and who either don't pay attention
to the culture, or who find it just another
minor annoyance to be gotten past.

That second group would automatically filter out
the humor and attitude from their reading, just
as they do from the few conversations they have
to endure with their more enculturated peers.

Notice that the writer chose a tone, but did not
make the mistake of peppering the text with
sport-specific slang terms. By so doing, he kept
it from being too specific to any one sport,
while avoiding the "just another failed corporate
attempt to be cool" syndrome... like when you're
16 and your dad tries to use "street words" to show
your friends how current he is.


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