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The technical writing tie-in here concerns an instruction NOT to do
something, and whether such an instruction should have been given in a
certain situation. The situation is that my wife bought a package of
those Smuckers peanut butter and jelly pastries (or whatever you call
them) that resembled a similar product containing macaroni and cheese.
The macaroni and cheese product has cooking instructions on each wrapper
for each individual pastry, but the pb&j product didn't. So she assumed
the pb&j pastries should be cooked using the same procedure and the mack
and cheese ones -- and proceeded to turn one of them into a hockey puck.
When we looked at the box, we found out that you don't cook the pb&j
pastries at all. My wife felt foolish, but I think the wrappers should
have had a "DO NOT COOK" instruction on them, in anticipation of someone
making exactly the wrong assumption that my wife did. Whenever
possible, I try to anticipate things people might be gonna do that they
aren't supposed to and include the appropriate warning. Do you all
think it was called for in this case?
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