Re: within vs. in

Subject: Re: within vs. in
From: <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: "Tammy Van Boening" <Tammy -dot- VanBoening -at- healthlanguage -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 15:38:16 -0500

Tammy, it sounds to me as if the SME might be someone who maybe learned English as a second language (and possibly got better grades at it than either you or I did!) and had an instructor with ideas about in vs within. Within conveys a more formal sound, and again, that mysterious instructor may have insisted that "formal" writing needs a formal tone. Does the SME also prefer the passive voice and the third person instead of the second?

What would happen if you asked your SME which of these paragraphs is better:

(A) In the event that the user desires to input the data it is incumbent upon the user to indicate the format, found within the drop-down list for the format choices, which is located within the Input Page.

(B) Use the FORMAT drop-down list on the Input page to select the input format.

--Peter Neilson (who is probably being far to hard on an otherwise wonderful SME.)


> I can find all kinds of references for the correct use of in to vs.
> into, but nothing for within vs. in. I use "in" and I have a SME who
> insists on "within." It's not worth getting my hackles all raised for
> this issue, but for my own edification, any thoughts, references, etc?
> To me, they mean the same thing and simpler writing is better, so I
> stick with "in." (Kinda' like on or upon.)


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