Re: for general discussion

Subject: Re: for general discussion
From: Michael West <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- net -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2003 21:29:58 +1000

> . . . . Isn't
> the personal pronoun up there with procedural writing and active voice
> in the tech writing canon?

No. The "you" pronoun is in the procedural writing "canon". It is
of little use in technical writing except in procedural material. Direct
address is generally recommended for telling someone how to do
something. It avoids all sorts of silly linguistic contortions ("to do this,
the user should enter his or her pasword" etc) that only create
distance between the instructor and the one being instructed.

> I quote the article: "For example, Koppel's
> group found that the single biggest difference is that women are far
> more likely than men to use personal pronouns-''I'', ''you'', ''she'',
> ''myself'', or ''yourself'' and the like."

The other personal pronouns (I, we, they, etc.) are scracely
mentioned at all in "the tech writing canon" as far as I know.

Mike West

"An active-voice transitive verb always beats
a copula-and-adjective-complement combo."
-- Prof. James Bloom via William Safire


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Re: for general discussion: From: Chris

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