Singular versus Plural

Subject: Singular versus Plural
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Joe Malin <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 14:31:28 -0400

Joe Malin wondered: <<I have written procedures for creating various entities in the architecture I'm documenting. In these procedures, I usually refer to the entity in singular form. For example, the lead-in to creating a topic is
*Creating a Topic* (title)
To create a topic: (introduction to procedure)
In the index, though, I refer to the entities in the plural:
Does this make sense?>>

Whether or not this is orthodox indexing, I prefer it because it eliminates the need to say "creating a" in the index subentries.Similarly, the index subentry under "Creating" should be "Topics", not "A topic".

If you want to be a little more consistent, change the heading to "Creating topics" to match the index. That's a very common style, and eliminates the mismatch between the singular and plural. The mismatch with the "to create..." isn't important in this case because the index entry refers to the larger entity (the whole section whose title is "Creating...", not to that individual sentence.

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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Singular versus Plural: From: Joe Malin

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