Re: A prescriptive language?

Subject: Re: A prescriptive language?
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "Bill Swallow" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Rob Tovey" <robtovey -at- hotmail -dot- co -dot- uk>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005 11:22:26 -0800

I think this is the same old "know your reader." If you're selling
a niche product to a niche market, for example IC logic and I/O
IP or DNA arrays, then your choice is between niche language
that will be undecipherable to a "global" audience that includes
Home Depot clerks and car salespeople, or an approach that is
easy for "most" to understand but may result in your customer base
constantly tearing out the first couple of chapters of everything you
publish and feeling insulted because you keep explaining to them
the basic building blocks of their professions. In either case, the
use of non-niche language is neither cost-effective nor particularly readable to the intended user.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message ----- From: "Bill Swallow" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
My personal belief, which is grounded in cost savings and readability,
is that documentation should be written with a concise global
approach. Niche language (I assume you mean coloqialisms and the like)
can add confusion to readers, whether they are from different
countries, provinces, or social classes. IMO, keep it clean, concise,
and accurate. Written in this manner, information is easy for most to


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A prescriptive language?: From: Rob Tovey
Re: A prescriptive language?: From: Bill Swallow

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