Re: Grammar Q

Subject: Re: Grammar Q
From: Tim Mantyla <TimMantyla -at- nustep -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 09:26:30 -0500

It does seem that some people have a hard and fast rule about not using
"you." English is such a mongrel (or muttly, mutt-like or muttish?)
language that there appears to be an exception to *every* rule.

I make it a hard and fast rule never to follow hard and fast rules. ;-)


Suggestions below:

> From: louise -dot- r -dot- stevanovic -at- transport -dot- qld -dot- gov -dot- au
> Subject: Re: Grammar Q

> I appreciated the discussion about the merits, or otherwise, of using
> in documentation. I had a similar discussion (okay, argument) with a


> I'd be interested to hear how those of you who never use 'you' would
> sentences that provide options, reminders or information rather than
> imperatives, such as the following:
> You will be prompted to update the document history whenever
> save the document as a new version.

Update the document history when saving the document as a new version.
[insert image of prompt for clarity]

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

(Here I would reword the passive voice in first sentence to "The IMD
toolbar displays at the screen's bottom left." Then keep the second as
is. I have no problem using "you" where it is appropriate and simple to

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

Update the lists under the Figures and Tables headings when inserting

> Louise Stevanovic

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