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Re: Variety in Tech Writing (was: Display, Displays, or Appears)
Subject:Re: Variety in Tech Writing (was: Display, Displays, or Appears) From:"Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> To:<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Fri, 6 Jun 2008 11:15:22 -0700
Anything that can arguably be said to have created
confusion in the mind of the reader about any part of
a document can potentially be woven into an argument
a lay jury will buy. Any conceivable creativity in tech
writing is dwarfed by the creativity of trial lawyers.
I would question whether it is always necessary to tell the
user that a particular dialog is going to appear, especially
if the instruction that makes it appear is followed by a
next step that tells the user to do something in that dialog
along with a figure that shows the dialog complete with
its title bar.
Instead of saying 1) do this, 2) the xxx dialog appears,
3) do this in the xxx dialog, just leave out step 2 and see
if it still makes sense.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Keith Hood" <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
>Only if the instructions actually are inconsistent and confusing.
> I was referring to wordings of lesser importance, such as
> describing how a new window appears on screen. It doesn't
> really matter, either from a technical view or a liability view,
> whether you write that a window opens, drops down, pops up,
> appears, displays, or flashes into being. That does not
> introduce confusion into what the user is supposed to do.
> (Although that last one may make the reader wonder what the
> writer was smoking.)
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