RE: Formality is going bye-bye?

Subject: RE: Formality is going bye-bye?
From: "Jennifer Baldwin" <jbaldwin -at- desertdocs -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 11:18:10 -0700

I believe in being informal to a point. It is important to remember that we are not simply writers. We are communicators. If our primary audience does not understand us, we have failed at that.

In the Google example, this is a company that has built itself up on being simple, straightforward, and uncluttered. It's part of their branding, and clearly it has worked very well for them. Their communication must follow suit and speak (as in some of our recent threads) with the same "voice." To explain their new features in formal language would clash with their image, and quite frankly, would turn a lot of people - no matter their reading level - away. Many would opt to just play around with the feature and figure it out on their own, and others might choose to ignore it altogether.

It's more than a matter of knowing your audience. It's a matter of also knowing your own company's image. For Google and many others, informal language makes perfect business sense.

Jennifer Baldwin

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