Overuse of gerunds in headings

Subject: Overuse of gerunds in headings
From: "Hickling, Lisa (TOR)" <lhickling -at- Express-Scripts -dot- com>
To: "Janice Gelb" <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 08:22:42 -0500

It's interesting to see other approaches in framing headings. I have
never quite liked *how to* in any heading major or minor. There is a
certain amount of dissonance that comes from wading through a couple of
nothing words to get to the verb that describes the meat of the
procedure. So, I favour gerunds for procedural headings. Regarding
localization of gerunds, it is a function of the translator's skill to
know whether the target language's equivalent or preferred treatment is
a gerund, infinitive, etc.

I see no issue in any of the following for conceptual topics:
- Understanding... (if what follows amounts to your entire effort to
educate the user on subject)
- About...| Overview of...| Introduction to... (if your treatment of the
subject that follows is cursory.)

For reference information, if simply jump right in with a noun phrase or
similar (eg Error Message Descriptions).

Lisa H.

-----Original Message-----
From: VERKERKEN Wouter
Subject: RE: Overuse of gerunds in headings

Slightly different question about the use of gerunds in headings. I have
heard that gerunds produce bad results after automatic translation. As a
Dutch native speaker I can understand that it would not be a good idea
to translate, for example, "Installing x" literally into my mother

-----Original Message-----
From: Janice Gelb
Subject: Re: Overuse of gerunds in headings

Our primary heads are gerunds, and heads for tasks begin with
either "To" or "How to."

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