Re: Grammar Question

Subject: Re: Grammar Question
From: Eddie Hollon <eddiehollon -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2007 23:31:51 -0700 (PDT)

>Lauren wrote:
>This sentence is very simple and is fine the way it
is. A very complex sentence may need additional

Quick, what's the golden rule of technical
communication..."Know your audience?"

The responses to this sentence are examples of how we
forget to take a good look at our readers. Raj says
it's necessary, Lauren says it's not, Ned says maybe,
but nobody suggests that the audience is the key to
the proper usage.

If your audience is made up of average, native English
speakers, then you've got no problems with the current
version. But, what if you're going to translate it or
expect non-native English speakers to interpret it on
their own? Don't count on the translation coming
across clean in every language - taken separately,
"will draw" and "write" are two different verb tenses.
Regardless of how clear we think the implication is in
English, it may not be clear to the audience. Unless
you remove the ambiguity, you take the risk that the
meaning could get lost in translation.

Audience is king...only when you define your readers
can you bank on having the right answer.

Eddie Hollon
Suwon, South Korea

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