RE: Perform vs. do

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

Thank you!



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.




Paul W Goddard
http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/PaulWGoddard



On Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 6:07 AM, Barbara Philbrick <caslon -at- windstream -dot- net>
wrote:

Our writing group is trying to decide if we should start using "do" instead
of "perform" for lead-in statements to procedures.

For example:
"To set the language, do the following steps:"

compared to:
"To set the language, perform the following steps:"

Using "do" sounds odd to our ears, but plain language guidelines recommend
it and we can't find any grammatical reason why it's wrong.

Another consideration is that our audience is heavily English as second
language readers (especially Asian languages).

Have any of you found substantive reasons to use one or the other?

Thanks!

Barb


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References:
Re: Agile Environment Opinions Wanted: From: Jen
Perform vs. do: From: Barbara Philbrick
Re: Perform vs. do: From: Paul W Goddard

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