Re: Syntax preferences

Subject: Re: Syntax preferences
From: Anthony Davey <ant -at- ant-davey -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 22:16:31 +0100

Hi Mats,

Ignoring all the stuff that's gone on, about which way to turn the focus ring, I'd go for your first option. It follows the 'given-new' rule, which still makes sense for me when I read instructions.

First the given piece of information, that which the reader already knows (what they want to do), followed by the new information (how to achieve it).

In this example it's nice and easy, but I just hate sentences that tell me to select the ZZZ option from the YYY list in the XXX menu. I have to read the sentence, then re-read it backwards to find out where I need to start from. Although a slightly different situation, the argument is still 'which piece of information does the reader need first?'

Best regards,

Broberg, Mats wrote:

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.

An example:

- To adjust focus, turn the ring.

- Turn the ring to adjust focus


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Syntax preferences: From: Broberg, Mats

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