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 14:47:02 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dick Margulis [mailto:margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net]
Humor, on the other hand, is a weapon that
> copywriters wield frequently, if not always gracefully.
> So while it is fun to critique the piece from a tech writing
> perspective, we should realize it was not written from that
> persoective.

I think it was, actually. Copywriters, in their natural
environment are trying to make you aware of a product
and its nifty features, to make said product and features
stand out from the crowd, and to encourage you to buy.

But in this case, those were secondary (nicely pursued,
though) considerations in a document that tells the
user how to actually *use* the product... in detail.

For me, it works, even though I'm nearly fifty and don't
indulge in any of the sports for which that device
would be useful. I don't think I laughed out loud, but
I did smirk and even snicker once or twice, and I had
no trouble understanding how to make the watch be an
altimeter. It was much clearer than the instructions for
some other wrist-mounted thingies that I own.

The next step though, would be to have it menu-driven,
like my current cell-phone, whose centimeter-thick
manual I have never opened (with apologies to Motorola
tech writers...).


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