Re: Friday Poll Idea (WAS: In love with a word)

Subject: Re: Friday Poll Idea (WAS: In love with a word)
From: "nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il" <nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2006 04:37:48 -0500

> sometimes it just seems like the task requires some
> kind of reassurance.

I think it's risky to tell users that what they're
about to attempt is "straightforward," or worse yet
"simple" or "easy". By doing so, you're telling them
that in the best case, when they've quickly mastered
the procedure, they don't deserve any credit, and in
the worst case, when they encounter difficulty understanding
or performing the procedure, you consider that they must
be numbskulls.

As in much marketing writing, the ideal is to put the
favorable idea into the reader's head without explicitly
stating it. If you can say something like, for example,
"the whole procedure can be thought of as four steps," then
you can hope the reader can say, "Why, that looks easy!"
and because it's the reader's own opinion, it won't meet
the resistance that an explicit claim of easiness would
need to penetrate.

Mark L. Levinson
Herzliya, Israel
nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il

mail2web - Check your email from the web at .


Now Shipping -- WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word! Easily create online
Help. And online anything else. Redesigned interface with a new
project-based workflow. Try it today!

Doc-To-Help 2005 now has RoboHelp Converter and HTML Source: Author
content and configure Help in MS Word or any HTML editor. No
proprietary editor! *August release.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: re Contractions
Next by Author: Re: Examples of good tech writing?
Previous by Thread: Re: Friday Poll Idea easy procedures
Next by Thread: Re: Friday Poll Idea (WAS: In love with a word)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads