Re: there is vs. there's

Subject: Re: there is vs. there's
From: Janice Gelb <Janice -dot- Gelb -at- Sun -dot- COM>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2008 07:01:31 +1000

Zen C wrote:
> Is there a rule about using "there is/there's" in Technical Writing? or is
> it a standard followed based on preference.

For a long time, our style guide said not to
use any contractions at all. However, we found
that this made our writing sound stiff and very
formal. We checked with our localization department
and they then allowed a few acceptable contractions
that work for translators and most people with ESL
(don't, can't, isn't).

We wouldn't allow "there's" for two reasons: first,
it isn't a contraction that is easily understood by
translators or people with ESL. More importantly,
we discourage the use of "There is" and other
indefinite pronoun use (such as "These are") in
favor of more specific phrasing, for example,
changing "There is another method to change font
size" to "Another method to change font size is..."

-- Janice

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with
janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com | this message is the return address

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

there is vs. there's: From: Zen C

Previous by Author: The Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks
Next by Author: Re: Let the grammar wars begin!
Previous by Thread: Re: there is vs. there's
Next by Thread: RE: there is vs. there's

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads