Re: "always read and follow the instructions"

Subject: Re: "always read and follow the instructions"
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 2008 12:41:59 -0400

Additionally, if a court of law is judging whether Hapless J. User
received sufficient warning of the harmful nature of the product, then
redundancy will stand well on the side of the defense. Law is full of
superfluous words: "I hereby give, bequeath and devise..." I have been
told that they are there for good reason.

At one place where I worked we invented (but never implemented) some
RTFM software. When you start the software it asks, "Have you read the
manual?" The correct answer, buried in the manual, is, "You betcha!" or
something like that. A simple, "Yes," won't do and will not allow you to

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:
> In situations where your products can kill their users
> if not operated correctly it is often SOP to say "read
> and follow" because you want the users to read the
> procedures in their entirety before attempting to
> perform them rather than just following them blind
> (because it's entirely possible to follow a set of steps
> without having first learned them)..
> Gene Kim-Eng
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Milan Davidovic" <milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com>
>> When I see a statement in a manual such as "Always read and follow the
>> instructions in this manual", two thoughts come to mind:
>> - Following the instructions in the manual (i.e. the ones actually in
>> the manual, not the instructions you imagine) presupposes having
>> learned them, so the direction to "read" them is redundant.
>> - Telling someone to "do x" with no qualifiers provides no options,
>> so the modifier "always" is redundant.
>> Do you think "always read and follow the instructions" is likely to be
>> more effective than "follow the instructions"? Do you think it depends
>> on the context?

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"always read and follow the instructions": From: Milan Davidovic
Re: "always read and follow the instructions": From: Gene Kim-Eng

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