Re: To Gerund or Not to Gerund?

Subject: Re: To Gerund or Not to Gerund?
From: "Caroline Tabach" <caroline -dot- tabach -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Tsipi Erann" <tsipi -dot- erann -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2007 16:30:33 +0300

The idea is to tell people how to do things.
A gerund is good for this.
It is difficult to let translation/localization issues to determine
your style to the extent that the guide may be harder to follow.

On 8/20/07, Tsipi Erann <tsipi -dot- erann -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> I'm in the process of adapting/creating a style guide for a company that
> recently went through an M&A process.
> We have become VERY stuck on the question of the format for procedure
> headings: The common practice I'm familiar with is to use a gerund format
> ("Adding Files to the Database"). The other proposal was to use present
> simple verbs ("Add Files to the Database").
> Writers/editors on the "other" side have a bias against gerund use, because
> of localization issues (although everyone pretty much agrees that consistent
> usage overcomes translation issues).
> Writers/editors on "this" side are against present simple, because a) it
> looks the same as an imperative, and can therefore be confused with a step,
> which leads to b) if our goal is to be DITA compatible, each architectural
> element should be different, hence a heading must be different than a step.
> After the long intro, here are my questions:
> 1. What is your opinion on the issue?
> 2. What style guide do you use/champion regarding procedure headings?
> 3. Do you have a good alternative to both gerunds and present simple? (one
> suggestion was a "How To" statement, which some style guides [Microsoft]
> prohibit... Do you know why they do?)
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> ---


Caroline Tabach
Technical Writer
e-mail: caroline -dot- tabach -at- gmail -dot- com

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To Gerund or Not to Gerund?: From: Tsipi Erann

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