Re: Responsible use of Obviously

Subject: Re: Responsible use of Obviously
From: Steve Abatangle <sabat -at- PUBS -dot- DTS -dot- HARRIS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1993 10:02:26 PDT

> > If it's obvious, why are you writing it?

> Yep. I figure it's just one of those conversational particles
> we all use out of sloppy habit. (Mine is "of course.")

Oh, but how I disagree! Too often, we tech writers are guilty of
trying to apply programming-style logic to language. But communication
does not use the same logic! It is an art.

What's this to say? That because some word or phrase doesn't seem
to have an immediate logical purpose does *not* mean we should strike
it out of use.

When I say "obviously, blah blah blah," I am almost often *reiterating*
a point -- and using "obviously" to be polite. Perhaps kindness in prose
isn't logical, but obviously (<wink>), not all human interaction is.

Steve Abatangle
Harris Digital Telephone Systems

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