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Subject:RE: Perform vs. do From:"Barb" <caslon -at- windstream -dot- net> To:"'Paul W Goddard'" <paulwgoddard -at- gmail -dot- com> Date:Sun, 13 Oct 2013 14:04:50 -0400
From: Paul W Goddard [mailto:paulwgoddard -at- gmail -dot- com]
Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 12:54 PM
To: Barbara Philbrick
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Perform vs. do
You have gotten lots of advice for your question. A couple thoughts about
simplicity and ESL factors. "Do is a simple direct verb that is usually used
in the imperative. Simpler vocabulary assists i ESL understanding.
Perform can carry additional implications that can create confusion. To
perform, usually means to get in front of people and do an act of some sort;
sing a song, recite a poem, etc. Using in it in a tech writing context makes
sense in that context and sounds good to the native speaker's ear, but is
can create confusion.
In addition, those who advocate dropping the imperative phrase, "do such and
such" are assuming their audience is as astute as they are. You really can't
make that assumption. Indeed, I could see a legal case being decided on
whether the user was explicitly told to do something as opposed to implying
they should do it.