Re: Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?

Subject: Re: Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:49:10 -0700

On 4/27/2017 3:21 PM, Elisa R. Sawyer wrote:

Lauren asked:

Do technical writers have an ethical duty to validate their
assumptions about the context and rules of an instruction before
asserting their assumptions as rules in a document? Or is it
ethical to make the assumptions and then require an SME to
validate accuracy?

I think the answer is always, "It depends," because we often must adapt to the habits of our SMEs.

In addition, occasionally we work for long enough within a company or domain that we become experts in some areas.

Is it ethical to make an assumption about context as in the by/times question and rely on grammar to resolve the mathematical problem? It is clear that people will interchange operational terms of math theory and disregard that those terms have different functions in math operations.

How should the question of whether to use by or times in a formula be addressed? Should it be resolved by simple grammar rules or should the question be deferred to an SME? I pointed out that by and times have different functions in math and I got flack for that because the question can be resolved grammatically, although a grammatical correction could result in an erroneous formula.


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References:
Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?: From: Emoto
RE: Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?: From: Janoff, Steven
Re: Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?: From: Lauren
Re: Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?: From: Dave C
Re: Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?: From: Lauren
Re: Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?: From: Elisa R. Sawyer

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