RE: Style - Arms Length

Subject: RE: Style - Arms Length
From: "Carly Martin" <carly1957_lists -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 17:43:02 -0600

> would this phrase seem to a person who speaks English as a second language
> (I've worked with people from all over the world and they stumble on this
> type of wording), and 2) how would you test and verify this? An "arm"
> varies from person to person. Would my arm length be sufficient, or
> my much taller colleague be the gauge? I would rewrite it using an
approximate measurement.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bounce-techwr-l-121213 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
<mailto:bounce-techwr-l-121213 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
> [mailto:bounce-techwr-l-121213 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]
<mailto:[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-121213 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]> On Behalf Of
> Atkinson
> Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 9:34 AM
> Subject: Style - Arms Length
> What is the proper technical style for the phrase "arms length"? EXAMPLE:
> Inspections must be performed at a distance no greater than arms length
> the widget.
> I have three possibilities:
> a. arms length,
> b. arm's length, and
> c. arms-length.
> A group of writers authored the instructions I am editing and each author
> wrote the phrase differently. Our company style manual does not cover this
> phrase. I googled the web and came up with many different variants. I
> prefer a more accurate term (e.g., "inspections must be performed within
> three feet of the widget"), but I have to use this phrase.
> Bennett Atkinson
> Technical Writer
> The NORDAM Group
> Nacelle/Thrust Reverser Systems Division


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