RE: Syntax preferences

Subject: RE: Syntax preferences
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 13:16:28 -0400

Mats Broberg asked...

> Dear all,
> In a one-sentence step in a procedure, do you prefer to start the
> sentence with the result, or with the action to achieve the result? I
> need to decide on a general policy in our documentation.
> In books about technical writing, I come across both recommendations.
> The jury still seems to be out on this.
> An example:
> - To adjust focus, turn the ring.
> - Turn the ring to adjust focus

My personal preference would be the second option. It's more direct,
active, and succinct.

Of course if Herman Melville were a Technical Writer he would say:

- "Turn the ring to adjust the focus as if combinedly possessed by all
the angels that fell from heaven."

Is it Friday yet?

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