Re: Can style trump grammar rules?

Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:57:19 -0700

When you begin citing proper names in a technical document, there are often
times rules set forth by the owners of those names, e.g., Microsoft
Corporation. Not following the rules set forth by trademarks and copyrights
is a no-no.

> Chris


On Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 9:07 AM, Kyle Simmons <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
wrote:

> I've seen what Shawn is talking about in multiple contexts. Recently, I was
> helping my girlfriend address some envelopes. My job was just to create a
> pattern for a banner and then draw the banner on all the envelopes (you
> know those scrolly banners that are popular with typography right now?).
> She was doing all the addressing, and I noticed that she was writing in all
> lowercase. Lowercase names. Lowercase street addresses. Lowercase state
> abbreviations. I was horrified. An envelope is a technical document, is it
> not? What if the mail carriers just can't even cope with this deviation?
> After she put me in my place for criticizing her work, I realized it was
> fine and the world would not explode. All of the letters arrived at their
> destinations promptly.
>
> Style can trump grammar. The question is whether it should, and the answer
> to that depends on context. I'm not sure this issue is one of grammar or
> style but more of design. Design should improve usability/user experience.
> Is having proper nouns in lowercase going to detract from the usability
> of the document? Does it really matter to the user? Remember we're also
> talking about a bulleted list. My thought is, "Who cares? Make that list
> look good."
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 12:55 AM, <techwr-l-request -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> wrote:
>
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> >
> > Today's Topics:
> >
> > 1. Re: What to call a smallish document that describes a
> > particular way to use a product? (Melanie Albrecht)
> > 2. Can style trump grammar rules? (Shawn)
> > 3. Re: Can style trump grammar rules? (Robert Lauriston)
> > 4. RE: Can style trump grammar rules? (Janoff, Steven)
> > 5. Re: Can style trump grammar rules? (Shawn)
> > 6. Re: Can style trump grammar rules? (Robert Lauriston)
> > 7. RE: Can style trump grammar rules? (Dan Goldstein)
> > 8. Re: Can style trump grammar rules? (Shawn)
> > 9. Re: Can style trump grammar rules? (Keith Hood)
> > 10. Re: Can style trump grammar rules? (Peter Neilson)
> > 11. RE: Can style trump grammar rules? (McLauchlan, Kevin)
> >
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 1
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:05:16 +1000
> > From: Melanie Albrecht <melanie -dot- albrecht -at- gmail -dot- com>
> > To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > Subject: Re: What to call a smallish document that describes a
> > particular way to use a product?
> > Message-ID:
> > <CAHUDCWnUuDyRUNcZPYqm6vDDaTaBdBJ+UjExKQrY43=
> > 0Za3i5Q -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >
> > Thanks people. I'll use "Integration Guides" in my drafts and see how it
> > works.
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 1:46 AM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > That's what I was thinking.
> > >
> > > On Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 6:31 AM, Lynne Wright
> > > <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com> wrote:
> > > > Integration guides?
> > >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 2
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:52:47 -0700
> > From: Shawn <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
> > To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > Subject: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > Message-ID:
> > <CALb0BCXp4k=q2ZHhypQpYYyqUxHiDJggkwSRUf3ZHP=
> > iBYHG1A -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >
> > Good day all,
> >
> > This seems like a noob question but I have honestly never faced this
> > 'dilemma' until now.
> >
> > I am using a intro splash where I include bulleted highlights of the
> > chapter's content. The text style is entirely lower case. This looked
> great
> > until I arrived at a chapter where the bulleted text includes proper
> nouns
> > and names.
> >
> > Is it acceptable to maintain consistency of style, while breaking English
> > grammar rules?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > --
> > *Shawn Connelly*
> > Technical writer
> > <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 3
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:01:40 -0700
> > From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> > To: Shawn C <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com"
> > <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > Message-ID:
> > <
> > CAN3Yy4B5uoxmobPZfdREAa85p+QGu6GqdiNKr3Jp5_S0qneuUg -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >
> > I can't think of any context where it would be OK not to capitalize a
> > proper noun. It looks illiterate.
> >
> > That's a typographical convention, not grammar.
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 4
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:42:11 -0700
> > From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>
> > To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>,
> > "shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com" <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
> > Subject: RE: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > Message-ID:
> > <8053B3D6140D544AA9F34FEBF648531F098426C63C -at- TOREXCH02 -dot- ga -dot- com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> >
> > Would have to see it in context.
> >
> > If it's a marketing piece, maybe. If it's a tech pubs piece, probably
> not.
> >
> > Steve
> >
> > PS - What is an "intro splash"? Is this some sort of screen in a video,
> > or are you talking about a print/online doc?
> >
> >
> > On Tuesday, July 29, 2014 10:53 AM, Shawn wrote:
> >
> > Good day all,
> >
> > This seems like a noob question but I have honestly never faced this
> > 'dilemma' until now.
> >
> > I am using a intro splash where I include bulleted highlights of the
> > chapter's content. The text style is entirely lower case. This looked
> great
> > until I arrived at a chapter where the bulleted text includes proper
> nouns
> > and names.
> >
> > Is it acceptable to maintain consistency of style, while breaking English
> > grammar rules?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > --
> > *Shawn Connelly*
> > Technical writer
> > <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 5
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:42:48 -0700
> > From: Shawn <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
> > To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> > Cc: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > Message-ID:
> > <
> > CALb0BCXBJMFrAm+ssnMsAerMPqRS05rPp0v4_zCfqEdXzw8dDw -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >
> > There are plenty of examples of using an 'all lowercase' style. Examples
> > include Vitamin water labels, McDonald's uses this format often in their
> > slogans, E. E. Cummings pretty much pioneered this format, and more.
> >
> > It is considered a stylistic choice that conveys a hipster-like feel. I
> can
> > hear the groans! LOL
> >
> > When I began using this style (only in the chapter splash pages), I
> really
> > liked the look but on Chapter 12, I am suddenly bothered by the notion of
> > using this style on proper nouns and names (despite the aforementioned
> > examples). I was seeking confirmation that it is really no big deal.
> Either
> > you are all a bunch of stogy old fuddy duds or this is really a big
> deal. I
> > kidd! :)
> >
> > I think I'll drop this fancy hipster thing, use proper case, and get back
> > to work. :)
> >
> > Fortunately, the text is transformed using CSS so it is a simple matter
> of
> > changing the property, "text-transform:lowercase;"
> >
> > BTW, what are your thoughts about all UPPERCASE text? I don't believe
> there
> > are issues doing it that way.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 11:01 AM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com
> >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I can't think of any context where it would be OK not to capitalize a
> > > proper noun. It looks illiterate.
> > >
> > > That's a typographical convention, not grammar.
> > >
> >
> >
> > Thank you all!
> > --
> > *Shawn Connelly*
> > Technical writer
> > <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 6
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:45:57 -0700
> > From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> > To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > Message-ID:
> > <CAN3Yy4DxmK2DkTPk5cOrbTzdeCbL2cMKO2rffP347gP_Za9V=
> > Q -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >
> > "ALL CAPITALS. AVOID THEM. THEY IMPAIR READABILITY BECAUSE THE EYE
> > CANNOT EASILY DISTINGUISH AMON CHARACTERS THAT ARE ALL OF A UNIFORM
> > SIZE."?Garner
> >
> > On Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 11:42 AM, Shawn <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com> wrote:
> > > BTW, what are your thoughts about all UPPERCASE text? I don't believe
> > there
> > > are issues doing it that way.
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 7
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:47:08 -0400
> > From: Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- cytomedix -dot- com>
> > To: "techwr-l -at- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > Subject: RE: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > Message-ID: <8901B28DA1280746950418EBF7D345025721F320E2 -at- cyto-file>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> >
> > I get enough shouting at home as it is. I don't need my technical
> > documents to shout at me in uppercase, too.
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Shawn
> > Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:43 PM
> > To: Robert Lauriston
> > Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
> >
> > There are plenty of examples of using an 'all lowercase' style. Examples
> > include Vitamin water labels, McDonald's uses this format often in their
> > slogans, E. E. Cummings pretty much pioneered this format, and more.
> >
> > It is considered a stylistic choice that conveys a hipster-like feel. I
> > can hear the groans! LOL
> >
> > When I began using this style (only in the chapter splash pages), I
> really
> > liked the look but on Chapter 12, I am suddenly bothered by the notion of
> > using this style on proper nouns and names (despite the aforementioned
> > examples). I was seeking confirmation that it is really no big deal.
> Either
> > you are all a bunch of stogy old fuddy duds or this is really a big
> deal. I
> > kidd! :)
> >
> > I think I'll drop this fancy hipster thing, use proper case, and get back
> > to work. :)
> >
> > Fortunately, the text is transformed using CSS so it is a simple matter
> of
> > changing the property, "text-transform:lowercase;"
> >
> > BTW, what are your thoughts about all UPPERCASE text? I don't believe
> > there are issues doing it that way.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 8
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:08:45 -0700
> > From: Shawn <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
> > To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > Message-ID:
> > <
> > CALb0BCV6BaTPMUxutBrb_YnV4J7nVwGYq+suTu6TOzn932LgCQ -at- mail -dot- gmail -dot- com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >
> > I decided to go conventional and display proper capitalization.
> >
> > Thanks again to all of you. Your opinions were appreciated.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Shawn <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com> wrote:
> >
> > > Good day all,
> > >
> > > This seems like a noob question but I have honestly never faced this
> > > 'dilemma' until now.
> > >
> > > I am using a intro splash where I include bulleted highlights of the
> > > chapter's content. The text style is entirely lower case. This looked
> > great
> > > until I arrived at a chapter where the bulleted text includes proper
> > nouns
> > > and names.
> > >
> > > Is it acceptable to maintain consistency of style, while breaking
> English
> > > grammar rules?
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > > --
> > > *Shawn Connelly*
> > > Technical writer
> > > <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > *Shawn Connelly*
> > Technical writer
> > shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com
> > <http://www.cohodata.com> <https://twitter.com/cohodata>
> >
> > 1490 W Broadway, Suite 200, Vancouver, BC, V6H 1H5
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 9
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:09:46 -0700
> > From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> > To: Shawn C <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com"
> > <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Robert Lauriston <
> > robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> > Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > Message-ID:
> > <1406668186 -dot- 10825 -dot- YahooMailBasic -at- web125803 -dot- mail -dot- ne1 -dot- yahoo -dot- com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
> >
> > When style is considered more important than other things, that's show
> > business.
> >
> > --------------------------------------------
> > On Tue, 7/29/14, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com> wrote:
> >
> > Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > To: "Shawn C" <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <
> > techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 2:01 PM
> >
> > I can't think of any
> > context where it would be OK not to capitalize a
> > proper noun. It looks illiterate.
> >
> > That's a typographical
> > convention, not grammar.
> >
> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > Read about how Georgia System Operation
> > Corporation improved teamwork, communication, and efficiency
> > using Doc-To-Help | http://bit.ly/1lRPd2l
> >
> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> >
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> > to TECHWR-L as klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com -dot-
> >
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> >
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> > administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-
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> > http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/
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> > Communications?? Head over to our online magazine at
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> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 10
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:30:47 -0400
> > From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
> > To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > Message-ID: <op -dot- xjsg9librns8nc -at- localhost -dot- localdomain>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed; delsp=yes
> >
> > Some legal documents require UPPER CASE TEXT for legal emphasis. "If we
> > put it in all caps they cannot claim they didn't see it amongst the fine
> > print."
> >
> > On Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:47:08 -0400, Dan Goldstein
> > <DGoldstein -at- cytomedix -dot- com> wrote:
> >
> > > I get enough shouting at home as it is. I don't need my technical
> > > documents to shout at me in uppercase, too.
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Shawn
> > > Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:43 PM
> > > To: Robert Lauriston
> > > Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > > Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > >
> > > There are plenty of examples of using an 'all lowercase' style.
> Examples
> > > include Vitamin water labels, McDonald's uses this format often in
> their
> > > slogans, E. E. Cummings pretty much pioneered this format, and more.
> > >
> > > It is considered a stylistic choice that conveys a hipster-like feel. I
> > > can hear the groans! LOL
> > >
> > > When I began using this style (only in the chapter splash pages), I
> > > really liked the look but on Chapter 12, I am suddenly bothered by the
> > > notion of using this style on proper nouns and names (despite the
> > > aforementioned examples). I was seeking confirmation that it is really
> > > no big deal. Either you are all a bunch of stogy old fuddy duds or this
> > > is really a big deal. I kidd! :)
> > >
> > > I think I'll drop this fancy hipster thing, use proper case, and get
> > > back to work. :)
> > >
> > > Fortunately, the text is transformed using CSS so it is a simple matter
> > > of changing the property, "text-transform:lowercase;"
> > >
> > > BTW, what are your thoughts about all UPPERCASE text? I don't believe
> > > there are issues doing it that way.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > > Read about how Georgia System Operation Corporation improved teamwork,
> > > communication, and efficiency using Doc-To-Help |
> http://bit.ly/1lRPd2l
> > >
> > > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > >
> > > You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as neilson -at- windstream -dot- net -dot-
> > >
> > > To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> > > techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > >
> > >
> > > Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> > > http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources
> and
> > > info.
> > >
> > > Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> > > online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> > >
> > > Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
> > > email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 11
> > Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 23:40:18 -0400
> > From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
> > To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>,
> > "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > Subject: RE: Can style trump grammar rules?
> > Message-ID:
> >
> > <D1E2C829C5011E4A84DAF8A184DD7CDA039BF5C9A5 -at- BEL1EXCH02 -dot- amer -dot- sfnt -dot- local>
> >
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> >
> > I dunno.... I instantly picked up on the missing "G" :-)
> >
> > Again, I don't see a problem if it's just in headings, if somebody wants
> > that style.
> > Not in body text. That would be painful.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Robert Lauriston
> > Sent: July-29-14 2:46 PM
> > To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > Subject: Re: Can style trump grammar rules?
> >
> > "ALL CAPITALS. AVOID THEM. THEY IMPAIR READABILITY BECAUSE THE EYE CANNOT
> > EASILY DISTINGUISH AMON CHARACTERS THAT ARE ALL OF A UNIFORM
> SIZE."?Garner
> >
> > On Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 11:42 AM, Shawn <shawn -at- cohodata -dot- com> wrote:
> > > BTW, what are your thoughts about all UPPERCASE text? I don't believe
> > > there are issues doing it that way.
> >
> >
> >
> > The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
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> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
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