RE: wording q - is "both" superfluous?

Subject: RE: wording q - is "both" superfluous?
From: <Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2012 10:24:59 -0700

For myself, I would want to know about anything that might potentially confuse me. If I discovered two different paths that ended-up going to the same place my first thought might be that one of the paths was coded wrong. I'd wonder what information I was cut-off from.

And as far as "both" vs. "either", my thinking would be:
If the user is likely to actually use/see both paths, for whatever reason, then use "both".
If the user is likely to come across only one path, use "either".

Does that sound about right to anyone else?

-Brian H.

-----Original Message----- From: Leonard Porrello

Good point, Richard. I would add that if the introductory sentence doesn't make the matter clear enough, it sounds as if the user can easily test the two options to see how they work without causing any problems. It's best to avoid documenting what the user can easily discover on his own.

-----Original Message-----

Monique Semp wrote:

> So in the doc I want to say that âYou can <access the function screen>
> from two starting points in the menu:â, then give the bullet list of
> the two menu paths, and then I want to explain that they bring you to
> the same screen.
>
> So for that final sentence, which of the following is best, and, more
> importantly, why?
>
> * Both menu selections bring you to the <function> screen.
> * Either menu selection brings you to the <function> screen.

You start by telling them to access the <function> screen in one of two ways and end by telling them those are the two ways to access the <function> screen. Too many words. Too much repetition and detail. That's how you end up with a thousand-page manual that nobody ever reads.

> Or, maybe I avoid it altogether and just say, âWhen you choose the
> <function> from the Dashboard menu, the <function> screen appears.â

Much better.



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Follow-Ups:

References:
wording q - is "both" superfluous?: From: Monique Semp
RE: wording q - is "both" superfluous?: From: Combs, Richard
RE: wording q - is "both" superfluous?: From: Porrello, Leonard

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