RE: Use of Optional in instructions

Subject: RE: Use of Optional in instructions
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 14:53:55 -0400

Lauren opined:

>
> Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant) wrote:
> > Richard Combs wrote:
> >> RIGHT: "To accomplish X, do A."
> >>
> Ewww...
> >> WRONG: "Do A to accomplish X."
> >>
> I would not write an instruction like this either, but it gets rid of
> the non-committal sound of the "right" option. The instruction for
> accomplishing X should already be in a section for
> accomplishing X, so
> there should not be a need to soften the fact that an action will
> accomplish X. So in the section for accomplishing X the instruction
> should be, "Do A."


I think the above argument holds water for books, but not so much for Help, where the reader might arrive from anywhere (including an index entry, a keyword search, or random karma) and not have followed a path that would le[a]d[e] them to anticipate a particular "accomplishment" other than the one they already had in their head(s).


Ow. I think I just hurt mine.


- Kevin




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Follow-Ups:

References:
Use of Optional in instructions: From: Bruce Megan (ST-CO/ENG2.2)
RE: Use of Optional in instructions: From: Combs, Richard
RE: Use of Optional in instructions: From: Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)
Re: Use of Optional in instructions: From: Lauren

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