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Subject:Re: Company Style Sheets From:Chuck Banks <chuck -at- ASL -dot- DL -dot- NEC -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 19 Oct 1993 10:19:30 CDT
Some personal principles concerning Style Guides:
1 - If you don't have one, try not to create one unless
it is absolutely necessary to maintain consistancy
throughout many documents and many writers.
2 - Apply the K.I.S.S. - Keep it simple, Stupid! - method
as much as possible.
Style Guides/Sheets are time consuming to create and maintain.
If your shop creates single, unrelated documents, forget it, you don't
need one. Just copy past successes and the latest successes of others.
With modern DTP software, you can create style sheets, SGML DTDs,
etc. online and rarely have to commit them to paper. With some grammer
checker programs you can store prohibited phrases for later flagging
in documents by the software.
If you feel you can't live without a style guide, check out the
published variety like the University of Chicago Manual of Style, the
Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, and the Government Printing Office
(GPO) Style Manual. The Chicago and AP style guides are available from
your local bookstores. The GPO Style Manual is available from the U.S>
Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C. The GPO has some local
offices in some major cities, check the closest major city before
writing the GPO in D.C.
Tab the sections you think relevant to your shop.
In summary, avoid creating a printed style guide like the plague.
If you can't avoid having one, try to use someone else's. If all else
fails, use a published guide and create a small addendum specific to your
Style guides are manhour sink holes. Most you will find are out
of date for that reason. You can maintain consistency of format with a
few soft or hard samples and a glossary of company-specific terms. Just
keep it simple and usable and quick and easy to maintain.
__ ________ ______
|\\ | || // Chuck Banks
| \\ | ||_______ || Senior Technical Writer
| \\ | || || NEC America, Inc.
| \\| \\______ \\______ E-Mail: chuck -at- asl -dot- dl -dot- nec -dot- com
America, Incorporated CompuServe: 72520,411