"using" as a verb in a task heading?

Subject: "using" as a verb in a task heading?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Milan Davidovic <milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2008 17:46:59 -0400

Milan Davidovic wondered: <<Let's say you have a task -- for
demonstration purposes only, we'll call it Verbing the Noun. There
are two ways of verbing the noun, so one could construct headings as
Verbing the Noun
Using Method A
Using Method B
As I was taught in my initial training, "using" is a poor choice for
a verb in a task heading (sound familiar? or is this just me?). In
this case, though, it may be okay. What do you think?>>

The reason to avoid "using" is that it's not very specific. There is
often a stronger verb (printing, saving, deleting) that does the job
better. If you only have one "using" in a list, it's not a problem.
The problem comes when there are many. In that case, all the headings
look the same (they all start with "Using"), plus, when you try to
alphabetize them, they all sort together instead of having "Deleting"
appear under D and "Saving" appear under S. It's annoying enough that
you should avoid this.

In your specific example, the question is what the two methods
actually are. For example, if Method A is "using a thesaurus" and
Method B is "using a dictionary", the better solution might be
"Thesaurusing the noun into a verb" and "Dictionarying the noun into
a verb". (OK, really not... <g> but this is all hypothetical until
you provide actual examples.)

If everything appears together on a single page, or as expanding/
collapsing subheads in the tree diagram for a help topic, you might
be able to get away with nothing more than "Method A". The main
heading remains visible, so it's not necessary to repeat it.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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"using" as a verb in a task heading: From: Milan Davidovic

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