RE: Disagreeing with house styles

Subject: RE: Disagreeing with house styles
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2012 11:11:55 -0500



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Julie Stickler
>
> On Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 5:27 AM, Sion Lane <slane -at- ubq -dot- thrupoint -dot- net>
> wrote:
> > howeverthis is the preferred usage according
> > to the house style guide, which specifically says 'do not use
> > voicemail/website'.
>
> Yep, in questions of style you suck it up and follow the style guide
> since there's often not a "right" or "wrong" answer, just a choice
> made for consistency's sake. I guarantee you, there are probably
> people in the company that would feel the same way about your chosen
> spellings.
>
> Why yes, I have sat through department meetings where we discussed the
> minutia of style for three or four hours without reaching a consensus.
> I've decided that there I much prefer having a editor hand down the
> style guide than argue the fine points of style, spelling,
> capitalization, and grammar with someone who is more worried about
> being "right" than being consistent across a team of writers.
>
> Choose your battles. This one doesn't benefit your customers, so let
> it go.

HOWEVER... maybe you could put something into the metadata of your
documents, to the effect that "Certain choices of terminology, spelling
and usage in this document are the result of adherence to a mandated
style guide, and do not necessarily reflect the sensibilities
or competence of the writer(s)." For customers or others, it's just
another of many, many disclaimer-things they'll ignore - probably
won't even see, especially if you don't let it transfer from the
source to the PDF format.

But at future employment interviews, when you hand over your samples
for examination by a potential employer, you can point out that
hidden disclaimer to indicate that you did indeed already know that
certain aspects of your docs are... er... quaint, but were beyond
your control. It beats back-pedalling and making excuses after
somebody calls you on the peculiarities. And it beats being
silently discarded as a contender, never knowing that that's
what lost you your shot and never having a chance to reply.

As for an editor to hand down a style guide, where do I
get me one of those? I haven't had a real editor this century.
Not in the budget.

- k


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Follow-Ups:

References:
Disagreeing with house styles: From: Sion Lane
Re: Disagreeing with house styles: From: Julie Stickler

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