Re: Mixing metaphors?

Subject: Re: Mixing metaphors?
From: "Blount, Patricia A" <Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 09:20:42 -0500

To Deborah,

I would rewrite the passage in several different manners and allow your
client to choose. In this case, the double-edged vs. two-edged sword
debate is meaningless to me - I'm not familiar with the expression. My
reaction to it is negative and I wonder, would the client want their
product to be perceived negatively?

I think that's one of the problems with metaphors, idioms, etc. How can
we be sure the audience understands it? If our charge as technical
communicators is to produce understandable information, I'd drop the
whole metaphor in favor of clear writing.


1 Increased XXX capacity enables significantly lower cost functionality
(and I am not sure what actually means), but it also increases
2 Consider the trade-offs when deciding to increase XXX capacity; as
capacity increases, cost is lowered but complexity is increased.

Hope it helped,
Patty B.


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