Re: Compressed ("telegraphic") technical writing

Subject: Re: Compressed ("telegraphic") technical writing
From: Len Olszewski <saslpo -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1993 09:19:27 -0500

Simon North writes:


> While this applies specifically to non-native English readers, I do have a
> research report somewhere (I will try to find it some time today if nothing
> else intervenes) that confirms an old suspicion of mine that these 'extra'
> words also improve the comprehension level for 'normal' readers. From memory;
> they aid in providing a certain amount of redundancy and they identify the key
> syntactic elements of the sentence.

John Kohl, who works at my company, is active in exactly this kind of
research. Here's one citation:

Kohl, John R. "Using 'Syntactic Clues" to Enhance Readability for
Non-native Speakers of English." _Proceedings of the 38th International
Technical Communication Conference_. Washington, DC: Society for
Technical Communication. RT54-RT57

He's presented other papers at similar conferences; it really is
interesting work and I recommend you search a few author databases if
you are concerned about translation issues, or about non-native English
speakers reading your untranslated documents. The paper in the ITCC
proceedings is a very good introduction to the topic, and contains a
set of references to other work on the topic.

|Len Olszewski, Technical Writer | "Never confuse motion for action." |
|saslpo -at- unx -dot- sas -dot- com|Cary, NC, USA| - Ernest Hemingway |
| Opinions this ludicrous are mine. Reasonable opinions will cost you.|

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