RE: Grammar Q

Subject: RE: Grammar Q
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: <louise -dot- r -dot- stevanovic -at- transport -dot- qld -dot- gov -dot- au>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 14:54:45 -0500

On Behalf Of louise -dot- r -dot- stevanovic -at- transport -dot- qld -dot- gov -dot- au asked:
[...]
>
> I'd be interested to hear how those of you who never use 'you' would
> reword
> sentences that provide options, reminders or information rather than
> imperatives, such as the following:

You weren't addressing me, because I _do_ use "you" sometimes, but
little technicalities like that have never stopped me from horning in,
before.


> You will be prompted to update the document history whenever
you
> save the document as a new version.

"Saving the document [causes|raises|invokes...] a prompt to update the
document history."

And I almost never use future tenses in tech writing.


> The IMD toolbar is displayed in the bottom left of the screen.
> You can move it anywhere on the screen.

That one was fine as-is, but if you want a different way, there's
nothing wrong with a little passive voice, once in a while - this
(above) is the perfect situation for it. (I'm much more averse to the
use of "will" than to the very occasional passive construction.)

"The IMD toolbar, can be moved from its default position at the bottom
of the screen." (If the method of moving was click-and-drag, then I'd
say "... can be dragged from its..."
I feel free to use a passive or indirect construction in this situation
because the action is breathtakingly optional, in contrast with the
pretty-much mandatory actions that I convey with imperative sentences.

>
> If you insert captions, remember to update the lists under
the
> Figures and Tables headings.

"Ensure that Figures and Tables lists are updated to reflect any new
captions." Actually, I prefer the "you" construction. Maybe somebody
else has something to trump us both?

> The last paragraph mark contains formatting for that
document, so
> if you copy it, it can overwrite the formatting in the
document
> you paste into.

The last paragraph mark contains formatting for its document, so copying
and pasting that mark can overwrite the formatting of the document into
which you paste it.

If Geoff is around, he'll show us how to do them all elegantly with
single-line paragraphs. :-)

Kevin
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Grammar Q: From: louise . r . stevanovic

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