Re: The New Communication (was Formality going Bye, Bye)

Subject: Re: The New Communication (was Formality going Bye, Bye)
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "Bonnie Granat" <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 10:05:21 -0800

The next step in this arguement is to raise the question of what constitutes
"standard." Is it the grammatically correct English primer usage drummed
into us in grade school that nobody seems to use today *except* people
grumbling about the decline of the English language, or if you are creating
documentation for the users of a product, is it the form that is in wide use
by those users? This assumes, of course, that you have actually taken the
time to determine what your users' usage is, and that you are not merely
attempting to impose your own.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message ----- From: "Bonnie Granat" <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com>

And an editor would respond that when you deviate from correct English, you
(1) draw attention to your idiosyncratic use of the language and (b) offer
an opportunity for your reader to stumble. Far from being economical,
nonstandard use of English causes your audience to experience time and
energy losses. The objection to nonstandard English is not made strictly
because the usage is nonstandard; after all, nonstandard usage is usually
how the language changes. But changing the language is not something a
technical writer ought to be doing. Challenging the understanding of the use
of the language is a task for creative writers, not technical writers.
Nonstandard usage draws attention to the writer, not the message.


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RE: The New Communication (was Formality going Bye, Bye): From: Bonnie Granat

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