Re: Formality is going bye-bye?

Subject: Re: Formality is going bye-bye?
From: arroxaneullman -at- aol -dot- com
To: shl_ctf -at- yahoo -dot- ca, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2006 12:21:31 -0500

Western and especially American culture has a history of informality. This informality combines with terse clarity to leave less room for misunderstanding.


"Superbigcompany kindly requests that the user carefully examine Superbigcompany's Widgetwonder in order to become familiar with the various parts and functions prior to conducting the instructional steps enclosed in the packaging."


"Look over the Widgetwonder before you use it."

The latter is less likely to confuse native speakers, let alone non-natives. It translates easier. It's directed at the reader. It sounds more natural. It gets to the point. These are all elements of good technical communication.

So, yes, Google is one of many companies moving to a less formal style. But it also has to do with the company "image." Big Blue may want to seem more conservative, old-fashion, and so forth, so they generally use a more formal tone.

It all goes back to knowing your audience. Google probably expects their audience to be Gen Xers, Millenials, etc. They would have a hard time connecting to these groups if they sounded old and schoolmongerish.

My two-point-five cents worth.

Arroxane, whose tone is horribly old-fashioned for a GenXer

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Re: Formality is going bye-bye?: From: Milan Davidovic

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