RE: Attention-getters: Warning, caution, danger...

Subject: RE: Attention-getters: Warning, caution, danger...
From: "Barbara Philbrick" <caslon -at- alltel -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 15:47:56 -0400

Here's some info I pulled together many moons ago for a technical writing
textbook ... It's dated, but the general idea and sources of information
should be worth pursuing.

Three organizations have set forth guidelines for hazard alert messages: the
American National Standards Institute (ANSI), The Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA), and the military. The ANSI standard is listed
in its Z535 specification; OSHA's in its Guidelines (Chapter XVII, Sections
1910.145 and 1926.155) and the military in specification MIL-M-38784 (p. 92,
Figure 10). In addition, many industry groups and even individual companies
have set up their own guidelines for hazard messages. The following table
details some of the differences between the standards.

[sorry about the formatting here; it was a 4-column table with the
consequence | ANSI designation | MIL designation | and OSHA designation]

Consequence | ANSI Z535 | MIL-M-38784 | OSHA
Will result in death or serious injury | DANGER | n/a |
Could result in death or serious injury. | WARNING | WARNING
Could result in minor injury or damage to equipment CAUTION | n/a | n/a

Could result in damage to equipment or long-term health hazard to personnel.
Notice (does not include long-term health hazards) | CAUTION (includes
long-term health hazards) | CAUTION (includes long-term health hazards)

Essential operating information or helpful tips | Important | Note |

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+caslon=alltel -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+caslon=alltel -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
Yves Barbion
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2006 7:38 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Attention-getters: Warning, caution, danger...

Hello techwhirlers,

sometimes "caution" is used as an attention-getter to indicate a risk of
physical injury, sometimes "warning".

The Microsoft Style Guide says this:

A *caution *is a type of note that advises users that failure to take or
avoid a specified action could result in loss of data.

Caution* To avoid damaging files, always shut down your computer before you
turn it off.

A *warning *is a type of note that advises users that failure to take or
avoid a specific action could result in physical harm to the user or the
hardware. Use a warning, not a caution, when physical damage is possible.

Are there any other references that clearly describe the use of "caution",
"warning" and other attention-getters?

Thanks in advance.

Yves Barbion
Technical Writer
Adobe-Certified FrameMaker Instructor


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Attention-getters: Warning, caution, danger...: From: Yves Barbion

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