RE: starting on page 2?

Subject: RE: starting on page 2?
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: Phil Snow Leopard <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>, Fred Ridder <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2011 09:25:28 -0700

Phil Snow Leopard wrote:

> Fred, with all due respect, you seem to be contradicting yourself.
> On the one hand you agree with my point that a style guide is specific
> to a context, and on the other you suggest that Chicago is the "most
> broadly applicable".

First of all, there is no contradiction in saying that different style guides are appropriate in different contexts and saying that CMS is more broadly applicable than APA.

Second, that wasn't your point. Your first point was:

> APA is for academic writing, Chicago is for 'trade' or 'professional'
> writing.

And Fred disagreed. Persuasively, IMHO.

Your second point, which touched on context, was a defense of the "freshly-minted PhD":

> Your intern knew plenty of what he spoke; you just didn't understand
> that his knowledge was for a different audience and context.

And as I pointed out, this PhD was exhibiting his ignorance. He apparently knew only APA style and assumed it was universally applicable, regardless of audience and context.

> In any given context, a stye guide is either applicable or not. How
> large the domain of applicability is outside of that context is
> irrelevant as to whether it should be used or not in any given
> situation.

The first sentence is partly true. In any given context, any one of several style guides may be applicable, and the definition of a given context -- how broadly or narrowly it's defined -- is a matter of judgment and circumstance that ultimately affects the style guide choice.

The second sentence is incorrect. If the aforementioned PhD had an understanding of APA's domain of applicability, knew something of various other style guides, and understood the size and degree of overlap of their domains, it wouldn't have taken weeks to get him to remove the APA blinders.

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


Re: starting on page 2?: From: Chris Morton
Re: starting on page 2?: From: Phil Snow Leopard
RE: starting on page 2?: From: Fred Ridder
Re: starting on page 2?: From: Phil Snow Leopard

Previous by Author: RE: starting on page 2?
Next by Author: RE: Correctness vs. Usability
Previous by Thread: Re: starting on page 2?
Next by Thread: Re: starting on page 2?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads