Re: injecting a little whimsy into grey text

Subject: Re: injecting a little whimsy into grey text
From: Janice Gelb <Janice -dot- Gelb -at- Sun -dot- COM>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 07 Oct 2008 13:47:28 +1100

Milan Davidovic wrote:
> Have you ever felt like the writer described in this post?

Humor in technical writing is a tricky subject.As
the article notes, without really knowing all the
members of your audience, you can't really tell what
jokes will work. The example here is really not
appropriate as it is both a US-centric and religiously
affiliated reference.

That said, I have seen small touches done well. However,
they must be done in such a way that they don't use
cultural referents that might be offensive or contribute
to a feeling of alienation, and should be unobtrusive. For
example, _The Whole Internet Catalog & User's Guide_ by
Ed Krol (published at the dawn of time in 1992) featured
in its examples employees and company names taken from the
cult film "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the
8th Dimension." (The sample email from johnb -at- yoyodyne -dot- com
with the subject "Do You Have the Overthruster?" still
cracks me up.) If you knew the source, the text in the
examples made you laugh. If you didn't know the source,
the names didn't mean anything but didn't get in your way.

-- Janice

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


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injecting a little whimsy into grey text: From: Milan Davidovic

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