Re: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one

Subject: Re: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one
From: Kathleen MacDowell <kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com>
To: "Pinkham, Jim" <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 May 2009 11:28:58 -0500

I've noticed that responses to these types of questions often involve
extensive re-writes to the content. I think that many of them are excellent,
and that they help raise questions about ambiguity in the original content.

But I also wonder how much you apply similar types of rewrites to your daily
work?

In my experience, the client often wants you to go with what they've
written, so I try to work from that perspective as much as possible. It's
primarily a matter of choosing battles, because typically, there is
important content that needs correction and multiple reviews. With the time
constraints everyone works under, it's hard enough getting those reviews
done without confronting them over relatively minor issues.

I can see the focus if one is working on a major aspect of the content. For
example, if the material is client-facing material on a website or product
release (e.g., perhaps the original posting), rather than as part of the
product documentation or a user manual. But if this were part of a user
manual, I'd argue that it would be more effective to do a basic rewrite--so
that it was accurate and grammatical--and leave it at that.

Please note that I learn a lot from these postings, so I don't mean to be
critical. I'm just curious how people typically deal with these types of
situations.

Kathleen

On Thu, May 21, 2009 at 9:31 AM, Pinkham, Jim <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com> wrote:

> Let me try to clarify. Your point is well-taken, John, when it comes to
> identifying the singular vs. plural number for the product name. But it's
> not a question of number and subject-verb agreement here. Rather it is the
> apparent use of "are," rather than "were" with the past participle to
> indicate completed action in the past tense. And the coupling with a second
> past participle confounds the matter further.
>
> Getting back to the sentences at hand:
>
> If the research is done, then the systems "were developed" or "have been
> developed" and that development is based upon 10 years of research.
> If the research is still being done, I suppose one could say that the
> systems "are being" developed: "XX Systems are being developed, and that
> development is based upon more than 10 years of research."
>
> But that is getting more verbose. It still doesn't read well, and we still
> need the big picture to know what this copy is really trying to accomplish
> and then to give it a decent rewrite so that it actually does accomplish
> that purpose. It's the starting over that's really needed here, if we're
> after something close to the second sentence. It just does not work as is.
>
> Jim
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+jim -dot- pinkham=voith -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:
> techwr-l-bounces+jim.pinkham <techwr-l-bounces%2Bjim.pinkham>=voith.com@
> lists.techwr-l.com] On Behalf Of John Posada
> Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 8:59 AM
> To: dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one
>
> Is XY Systems the name of an entity? If so, you are right because XY
> Systems, even thought it ends with S, is a singular,
>
> However, if XY Systems are multiples of XY, then the client is right
> because you are referring to plurals
>
> On Wed, May 20, 2009 at 12:05 PM, Deborah Hemstreet <
> dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com> wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I have a sentence that reads:
> >
> > XX Systems were developed based on over 10 years of research ...
> >
> > The client wants:
> >
> > XX Systems *are *develo9ped based on over 10 years of research ...
> >
> > I am certain that "are" is incorrect here, but don't know how to
> > explain this. Can you help?
> >
> > Thanks
> >
> > Deborah
>
>
> --
> John Posada
> Senior Technical Writer
> NYMetro STC President
>
> Looking for the next gig.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
>

--
Kathleen MacDowell
www.writefortheuser.com
kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com
kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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Follow-Ups:

References:
GUI Elements defined: From: Bruce Megan (ST-CO/ENG2.2)
Re: GUI Elements defined: From: Gregory P Sweet
Re: GUI Elements defined: From: Chris Morton
Grammar (again!): From: Deborah Hemstreet
Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one: From: Deborah Hemstreet
Re: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one: From: John Posada
RE: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one: From: Pinkham, Jim

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