RE: Microsoft Manual of Style questions

Subject: RE: Microsoft Manual of Style questions
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
To: "'Richard Mateosian'" <xrmxrm -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2010 21:06:15 +1000

I wrote (apropos of the Microsoft Manual of Style):

> Anyway, it's e-mail, and never e-mails, and "send a message" is preferred
> over "send an e-mail".

Richard wrote:

> We should send them a flood of emails to bring them into the 21st
> century. ...RM

I suppose so. I agreed with them at the time, but experience has taught me
that the greater specificity of "send an e-mail" is useful more often than

I'm looking at a vintage edition, by the way (1995); they may have updated
it since then.

All in all, I rather admire what the editors were trying to do; most
importantly, I think, was that they were saying, "Hey folks, just because
it's computers doesn't mean we have to change the rules of English usage.
Let's not throw Strunk and White out the window (or Windows) just yet."

I still think that's good advice. The fact that not all Microsoft-employed
tech writers followed the advice is a whole nother issue. In fact, most
tech writers I've observed over the past thirty years have not been
particularly well versed in traditional English usage, and that's been a
real drag on the profession. It's actually done financial harm to you and me
-- no doubt about it.

Michael West


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Re: Microsoft Manual of Style questions: From: Michael West
Re: Microsoft Manual of Style questions: From: Richard Mateosian

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