Re: RE: Re: Bad sentence #2

Subject: Re: RE: Re: Bad sentence #2
From: Hannah Drake <hannah -at- formulatrix -dot- com>
To: "Elisa R. Sawyer" <elisawyer -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2015 10:47:51 -0400

Agree with the idea that there is little value in explaining sentence
structure to anyone besides word geeks. Eyes will glaze over.

"In order to use USB communications to control the instrument running
v. 4.1 firmware, the latest USB drivers must be installed."

Here is what I see:

"In order to use" = fluff.
"USB communications" = pretentious fluff
"to control the instrument" = pretentious fluff

If you want to make it as wordy as possible, then I would suggest something
like: "USB drivers must be upgraded the the latest version in order for USB
connections to work with instruments running v. 4.1 firmware."

The way I see it, the sentence has three parts (using USB communications)
(instrument running v. 4.1 firmware) (needs updated USB drivers). The
overall sentence structure is wrong. The most important part of the
sentence is the last part of the sentence.

Also, I would want to know exactly what version of the USB driver is
required. Are we in an "x or newer" situation? Or, "x or it won't work at
all" situation? We've had instruments that didn't work if drivers were TOO
new!

Depending on the audience, and the reason behind the requirement (does the
device not work at all without the upgrade?) you can assume they would know
that upgrading the USB drivers means they are tinkering with something to
do with making USB stuff work. So, going with the most trimmed-down, to the
point, need-to-know style:

(The latest)(Upgraded) USB drivers are required for instruments running
v.4.1 firmware.

OR

Instruments running v 4.1 firmware require (the latest/upgraded USB
drivers)(USB 2.0/3.0 drivers)(USB driver upgrades).

OR

USB drivers must be upgraded to support instruments running v. 4.1 firmware.

and so on...



On Sat, May 30, 2015 at 12:23 PM, Elisa R. Sawyer <elisawyer -at- gmail -dot- com>
wrote:

> "...be installed." is actually passive. Imperative works. If you can't get
> additional information, John G.'s sentience is best.
>
> However, I'm interested in what happens when you look at the sentence in
> this way:
>
> To control the instrument [running] 4.1 firmware, install the latest USB
> drivers.
>
> The above sentence structure brings the fact that that there is missing
> information into focus. In some situations, users need to know specifics
> about the controls--what in the latest USB drivers uses what in the 4.1
> firmware to control the instrument?
>
> I doubt you actually need to tease out those specifics, and your engineers
> might not know. :-)
>
> -Elisa
>
>
>
>
> On Fri, May 29, 2015 at 1:12 PM, Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net> wrote:
>
> > Lynn, there are no passive verbs in the sentence. In fact, there is
> > only one subject - verb pairing:
> > Use . . . . requires . . .
> > "to control" is an infinitive acting as a modifier . . . I *think* . .
> > . and "running" is definitely part of a participial phrase modifying
> > "instrument."
> > I think. As my creaky English Grammar teacher gears start turning just
> > a bit.
> > "Use" as a noun is fine, I think.
> > "of the [noun]" is wordy, indirect, and much loved by engineers. But
> > the sentence is grammatically correct!
> >
> >
> > On 05/29/15, Lynne Wright<Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tritech -dot- com> wrote:
> >
> > Its still in passive voice, tho.
> > And isn't starting the sentence with "Use of" instead of "The use of"
> > grammatically incorrect?
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> --
> Elisa Rood Sawyer
> ~~~~~^~~~~~
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