RE: "always read and follow the instructions"

Subject: RE: "always read and follow the instructions"
From: "Andrew Warren" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>
To: "Milan Davidovic" <milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2008 09:51:11 -0700

Milan Davidovic wrote:

> 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.

Yeah, usually... But one might naturally "follow" (most of) the
directions without having read them. Hardly anyone who uses
Microsoft Word every day has read the manual, and most drivers
have never read their car owner's manuals.

> Telling someone to "do x" with no qualifiers provides no options,
> so the modifier "always" is redundant.

I think a lack of qualifiers probably means "once" more often than
it means "always"... But regardless, "always" in this context is
an intensifier that emphasizes the importance of the instructions,
live "ever" in "Don't do that" vs. "Don't ever do that."

> Do you think "always read and follow the instructions" is likely to
> be more effective than "follow the instructions"?

If "be more effective" means "increase compliance with the
instructions", no... But I bet it makes company lawyers happier.



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"always read and follow the instructions": From: Milan Davidovic

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