Re: book, manual or what?

Subject: Re: book, manual or what?
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2012 12:33:18 -0700

On 6/1/2012 11:19 AM, Ken Poshedly wrote:

* The book of operational/light maintenance procedures is an "Operation Manual"
because to me, a "manual" is a book of procedures.

I would use "Operation and Maintenance Manual."

* Likewise, the book of major repair/replacement procedures is a "Workshop
Manual" because, once more, a "manual" is a book of procedures.

I would use "Repair Manual" because that is what such manuals are called for vehicles.

* Finally, the book of parts lists and illustrations is a "Parts Book" because
it cannot be a manual (due to the absence of procedures, except for a few
paragraphs at the beginning that tell how to order a part).

Other companies refer to parts books and "Parts Books."

My coworker -- the one who refuses to save our graphics in a library for future
use but instead simply and quickly electronically pastes cropped screenshots of
stuff from our Asian pdf "source manuals" and is nowhere near the writer that I
am -- brings up the topic and then tells me it doesn't matter what I say and
that a "Parts Book" can also be correctly called a "Parts Manual".


I know there are more pressing issues, but does General Motors (or whomever)
calling its thing a "Parts Manual" automatically make it right, or can you be
correct and a much smaller company?

"Manual" means, done with the hands. A book that can be handled is also called a manual. We have come to accept that this means a manual must provide instructions, but "manual" just means a book you can carry.

Websites that properly explain things and which I can throw at my coworker are
most appreciated.

Finally, I am prepared to back off if I'm wrong or too stuck on this and it
legitimately doesn't matter.

If calling it a parts manual would be confusing to the user, then you have a valid case. Many companies, however, refer to parts books as a "parts manual."

Personally, I like to group documents by what the volumes are called. So a manual is for a book of instructions, a guide is for a book of descriptions or schematics, and a catalog is for a list of things associated with a product.

I like how Toro separates different types of documents as, "Operator’s Manuals, Parts Catalogs, and Service Bulletins."

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