RE: extra words: unnecessary or educational?

Subject: RE: extra words: unnecessary or educational?
From: Chris Gooch <chris -dot- gooch -at- lightworkdesign -dot- com>
To: pdenchfield -at- yahoo -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 12:13:51 +0100

Pamela wrote:

Maybe this is "learning theory stuff." I'm not sure how to articulate my

If deleting words from a sentence doesn't change meaning, is there ever a
reason to keep them? I say yes. "Extra words" can facilitate quick

I don't think it's learning theory stuff, more like
communication theory stuff. The extra words are
redundancy in the signal; redundant elements of a signal
can help to overcome noise. The trick is to add useful
redundancy without a) increasing noise or b) increasing
signal length too much. In other words, the
message/sentence should be "short enough, but no shorter".
"Noise" in the context of people reading instructions,
is introduced by the reader skim reading / not paying attention,
thinking they know what you're saying without reading it,
your prose being unclear / contradictory, etc.

Another example of using redundancy in human communication
is the old army maxim of "tell them what you're gonna tell them,
tell them, and then tell them what you've told them".

hth, Chris.

Christopher Gooch, Technical Author
LightWork Design, Sheffield, UK.

Previous by Author: Re: Content Mgmt for binary files
Next by Author: Integrating help with SAP EBP
Previous by Thread: Re: extra words: unnecessary or educational?
Next by Thread: RE: extra words: unnecessary or educational?

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

Sponsored Ads