Re: Technical Writing vs. Marketing Writing

Subject: Re: Technical Writing vs. Marketing Writing
From: Ad absurdum per aspera <JTCHEW -at- LBL -dot- GOV>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1993 17:44:10 GMT

> You may notice that throughout the manual, they write with a very
> upbeat style, and constantly remind you how simple their program
> Not everything about the program is that easy to do...

"Methinks thou doth protest too much!"

I have no quarrel with trying to phrase things positively, but
some of the writers who do it are as subtle as the guy in the
striped jacket and plaid tie down at E-Z-Kredit Used Cars. It
sets off my b.s. detector -- especially when there's reason to
think that they're trying to run around in circles fast enough
to Doppler-shift a bug into a feature.

What makes me happy with a product is good performance and a
manual that gives me straightforward, lucid instructions. But
there *is* a school of thought that says customers need to be
stroked continually throughout a manual -- reminded at every
turn that they must have remarkably good taste to have chosen
the finest product of its kind ever marketed. Like, gag me
with a pompon, you know?

"Just another personal opinion from the People's Republic of Berkeley"
Disclaimer: Even if my employer had a position on the subject,
I probably wouldn't be the one stating it on their behalf.

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