Re: Yahoo has no staff tech writers

Subject: Re: Yahoo has no staff tech writers
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 17:38:54 -0400

On Thursday 10 October 2002 16:46, John Posada wrote:
About the magically clear writer who happens to mangle
> Let's say that writer I referred to does everything in
> passive, or maybe he mixes second and third person. Maybe
> he stinks at parallel structure...whatever
> Maybe the run-of-the-mill writer couldn't pull it off and
> the steps would be muddled. OTOH, couldn't the detail,
> reasoning, and helpfulness (talk about grammar :-)) of
> the steps be clear and yet the grammar be substandard?

Passive voice is not a grammar problem. It's a stylistic
preference with some persuasive argument behind it.

Second and third person mixing might be mostly just
annoying, but give the monkey on the typewriter enough
time, and s/he *will* produce some sentences that
cause the reader to balk.

The parallel structure thing IS a clarity issue. Often
you can understand what the writer meant... even
though you are brought up short by the way it is
written... but I've encountered plenty of sentences
where the writer, and *some* readers, knew
exactly what the writer meant, but other readers
derived a different meaning, to their chagrin.

I find that parallelism (failure of) is one of the
grammatical problems that prove most resistant to
correction, in adults. If it's entrenched, it'll take very
big earth-moving equipment to dig it out. The
problem is all those instances when clarity is not
too badly compromised, and ambiguity is not such
a big deal. When the serious failures pop up,
the writer just doesn't "get it", even when it's


Buy ComponentOne Doc-To-Help 6.0, the most powerful SINGLE SOURCE HELP
AUTHORING TOOL for MS Word. SAVE $100 on the full version and $50 on the
upgrade. Offer ends 10/31/2002 (code: DTH102250).

All-new RoboHelp X3 is now shipping! Get single sourcing, print-quality
documentation, conditional text and much more, in the most monumental
release ever. Save $100! Order online at

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

RE: Yahoo has no staff tech writers: From: John Posada

Previous by Author: Re: Yahoo has no staff tech writers
Next by Author: Re: Yahoo has no staff tech writers
Previous by Thread: RE: Yahoo has no staff tech writers
Next by Thread: Re: Yahoo has no staff tech writers

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads