Re: LONG - A colloquial writing style?

Subject: Re: LONG - A colloquial writing style?
From: Lori Olcott <lori_olcott -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 19:13:11 -0700 (PDT)

Hello -

Quick introduction: I'm Lori Olcott. I recently moved to
Boulder, CO after spending 3 1/2 years in Seoul. I'm
working on breaking into the field over here. My focuses
are user manuals, SOP's and training material. I've also
done a fair bit of editing translated English into real

>... the overly cute style does interfere with the
conveying of information, ...

I guess we all have our distractions. I took a UNIX class
with a horribly edited textbook. I got so caught up in
finding the comma splices and reworking the run on
sentences that I forgot to pay attention to what I was
supposed to be reading.

I've dealt with many ESL users, and I don't think that
informal has to equate to colloquial or cute. You can use
simple sentences and encapsulated phrases to break down
ideas into smaller, easier to digest phrases. There are
still many ways of saying something simply without
resorting to slang or idioms. Think about how you would
explain a process to someone who was sitting in front of
you. Break your phrases into breath sized pieces. By
using living English, your writing becomes more alive and

"Cute" may alienate the hard-core techies, and formal may
scare off the greener users. Fortunately, there's lots of
ground between Charles Dickens and Hello Kitty.


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