Re: Re: Marketing email - VENT

Subject: Re: Re: Marketing email - VENT
From: Susan W. Gallagher <sgallagher5 -at- cox -dot- net>
To: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>,"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 16:44:55 -0400

Me again:
Al, another part of your job as a technical writer is to
remove ambiguity and to minimize the opportunity for mis-
understanding. To that end, the sentence that Bonnie G posted
this morning is the quintessential argument in favor of
serial commas, as eliminating the comma changes the meaning
of the sentence significantly:

I'd like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.
(you are thanking three separate 'entities')

I'd like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand and God.
(you are of remarkable heritage and thank only one 'entity'
with two components)

Technical writing is not journalism, no matter how many
similarities the two occupations share. The Chicago Manual
of Style, referenced by many technical writers, advocates
the use of serial commas. The Associated Press style guide,
referenced by many journalists and marketing communication
writers, does not advocate the use of serial commas.

> I wrote:
> >remember that most marketing writers follow the API style
> >guide rather than Chicago, so serial commas are not a big
> >issue with them.
> >
> >
> >Al Geist answered:
> After nearly 30 years of writing for a living, I can say that forgoing
> that last comma in a series has nothing to do with marketing writers.
> If you have a background in journalism (which I do in addition to
> electrical and software engineering), you learn before the end of your
> first assignment to ditch that last comma...
> Since part of my task as a technical writer is to be concise and remove
> redundancy, that redundant serial comma is gone...

Previous by Author: Re: Re: Print-ready Graphics Problem
Next by Author: Re: Product documentation PDFs and demos on a site
Previous by Thread: Re: Marketing Email - Vent
Next by Thread: RE: Re: Marketing email - VENT

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

Sponsored Ads