Re: The 'user' in User Manual

Subject: Re: The 'user' in User Manual
From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: "Cardimon,Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>, Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 02 Feb 2007 14:05:43 -0600 (CST)

I aim for a style that is a mixture of conciseness (80%) and a conversational tone (20%). The percentages indicate that at the end of the writing cycle I do a final search for "you," and try to eliminate it if there is an effective alternative that reads naturally.

Some techniques for avoiding "you" are worse than "you," however. I stay away from the passive voice and from subjectless participles ("While adding the diluent, sing the National Anthem.") I rather like my example here, but usually that construction sounds contorted and odd.

So -- hurray for you -- within limits.



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