RE: Which style of giving instructions is more effective?

Subject: RE: Which style of giving instructions is more effective?
From: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
To: "'Porrello, Leonard'" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>, "'Combs, Richard'" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>, 'Ryan Pollack' <ryan -at- clicksecurity -dot- com>, "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 11:57:59 +0000

I start sentences with "To" all the time. Shrug.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+ccardimon=m-s-g -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Porrello, Leonard
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 6:37 PM
To: Combs, Richard; Ryan Pollack; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Which style of giving instructions is more effective?

Yes, a couple of other people corrected me (in private) about my mistaken claim that "To" in "To restart..." is a preposition. But I am confused. Did Kat and Bill say something about what part of speech "To" is?

Regardless, that I was wrong about the part of speech doesn't change the gist of what I was saying. "To restart" is a relatively weak verb compared to "Restart" or "Enter". If I were skimming a procedure, "To" would just get in my way. "To" is just one more little thing my brain has to process while I am trying to engage it to read directions to solve a problem.



-----Original Message-----
From: Combs, Richard [mailto:richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 1:57 PM
To: Porrello, Leonard; Ryan Pollack; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Which style of giving instructions is more effective?

Porrello, Leonard wrote:

> For what it's worth, I don't like starting procedural steps or
> references with prepositions (for example, "To" in "To restart ....").
> Prepositions don't give the reader useful information.

It's not a preposition. "To restart" is a verb (the infinitive).

Kat and Bill are correct.

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-903-6372
------






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Follow-Ups:

References:
Which style of giving instructions is more effective?: From: Ryan Pollack
RE: Which style of giving instructions is more effective?: From: Porrello, Leonard
RE: Which style of giving instructions is more effective?: From: Combs, Richard
RE: Which style of giving instructions is more effective?: From: Porrello, Leonard

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