There must be some kind of standard....

Subject: There must be some kind of standard....
From: "jopakent" <jopakent -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 15:06:01 -0800

It's reading day here at highly-regulated, bigCorp and I'm reading through a
stack of procedures that have been updated recently.

As I yawn my way through these, I am increasingly amazed at the seemingly
random use of capitalization used in these documents. As my disdain (and my
gorge) rises at this unsophisticated usage, it occurs to me that my sneering
may be off base.

Is there some kind of different standard that applies to procedure writing
that allows for sentences like the following:

"The purpose of this procedure is to establish the responsibilities and
for controlling Documents."

I run into this kind of writing so frequently here, that I'm beginning to
wonder if there might be some basis for it. It seems like there is some kind
of guideline that says: "if something is important or significant,
capitalize it."

Of course, when you do that you run into consistency issues.
. What's important to one writer isn't as important to the next writer,
. The same word can be used in different contexts, which times do you
capitalize it?

I get called on to edit these from time to time and so far, I've been very
aggressive in removing every instance of these random capitals. My misgiving
today is that besides the fact that my tiny efforts (I've edited 3 or 4 out
of perhaps hundreds of procedures) seem futile, there may actually be some
kind of standard that calls for this otherwise inexplicable usage.

Has anyone seen a written standard that provides a justification or
explanation for this kind of writing?


J. Paul Kent


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