RE: fwd: you or he/it

Subject: RE: fwd: you or he/it
From: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 09:25:16 -0400

Actually, both the Japanese PL and Melissa make the same mistake. We
don't use the second person because it's informal: We use it because
it's direct. Good tech writing is clear and concise, and the second
person is often the best voice for that purpose.

Regarding Anonymous' ESL users in Europe: Stick to short, declarative
sentences, and use the second person wherever you think it's
appropriate. If any users are dismayed by your apparent informality,
they'll be outnumbered by the ones who are grateful for your clear

-- Dan Goldstein

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Melissa Nelson
> Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 9:06 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: fwd: you or he/it
> My company tends to like me to use the term "the user"
> whenever possible. During writing I always slip into
> using "you" and have to go back and change
> it to the user...I would rather be informal but
> alas...
> >I'm in the midst of a (major) disagreement at my place of employment.
> >Since beginning my career as a Technical Writer, I've had it pounded
> >into me that we are to use the "you", eliminate "it/he/she", keep it
> >informal and to the point, and use present tense WHENEVER possible.
> >Make it simple and easy to follow.
> >
> >We now have a new Japanese Project Leader who wishes me to create a
> >completely new, FORMAL format, eliminating you, sprinkling it/he
> >liberally, and generally, creating a document that (in my opinion
> >only) would be very difficult to read through, especially for our
> >Target Audience. (Administrative IT personnel)...
> >

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RE: fwd: you or he/it: From: Melissa Nelson

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