RE: WRONG!..... -ish?

Subject: RE: WRONG!..... -ish?
From: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riveraintech -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 12:21:14 -0500

This all began with Kevin's statement: "Speaking as a techwriter...
NEVER use the word 'recommend' or the phrase 'we recommend.'" It was the
all-capped "never" that triggered my response ("never" often does).

Suzette and I each offered situations where "we recommend" works best
for our documentation and our users.

Obviously, you should do whatever works best for yours. Happy Friday!


-----Original Message-----
From: Porrello, Leonard [mailto:lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, February 03, 2012 12:12 PM
To: 'Cardimon, Craig'; 'David Harrison'; Dan Goldstein;
'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'
Subject: RE: WRONG!..... -ish?

I find the appeal to corporate authority interesting, but I am not
convinced. I try to keep my documentation as exclusively focused as
possible on the user, the process, and the artifact being documented. In
"We recommend," you add the opinion of the company as a fourth element.
I don't think a reader will be devastated or confused by this. However,
I don't think it is necessary in most cases. A case in which I do see a
need to insert the manufacturer is when you need to limit liability.

Craig said, "'It is best to' still sounds wishy-washy." In the context
of a recommendation being made in a user guide, I don't see it. In
addition, you can say "best" with confidence and authority. For example,
"It is best to avoid eating rotten food." Does this mean that you should
never eat rotten food or that avoiding rotten food is always the best
thing to do? No, the statement leaves room for a response to mitigating
circumstances. It is arguably better to eat some types of rotten food
than it is to starve, and I don't think that anyone who reads "it is
best to avoid eating rotten food" is going to think, "But what if I am
starving?"

David said, "'we recommend' is read as a suggestion from the supplier or
manufacturer and not the writer or speaker." I took that as a given.




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Follow-Ups:

References:
WRONG!..... -ish?: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: WRONG!..... -ish?: From: kcbillb2
RE: WRONG!..... -ish?: From: Dan Goldstein
RE: WRONG!..... -ish?: From: Porrello, Leonard
RE: WRONG!..... -ish?: From: Dan Goldstein
RE: WRONG!..... -ish?: From: David Harrison
RE: WRONG!..... -ish?: From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: WRONG!..... -ish?: From: Porrello, Leonard

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