Re[2]: More personable tech writing

Subject: Re[2]: More personable tech writing
From: Steven Owens <uso01 -at- MAILHOST -dot- UNIDATA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1993 09:39:13 -0600

Stephen Bernhardt (sbernhar -at- NMSU -dot- EDU) says:
> Personable may have the wrong connotations for what we are after. We
> know that users can be helped by appropriate governing metaphors that
> help them build an appropriate and useful model of how the system
> works. We also know that scenarios are frequently helpful, especially
> as new users are introduced to ways that features of an application
> might be exploited.

Actually, "personable" has pretty much the connotations I was
after when I started this thread. I wasn't referring to use and
construction of metaphors, nor to use of scenarios, although I find
those topics interesting. I was hoping to take a look at a much
lower-level issue of use of language and word choice, phrasing, and
so forth; the _tone_ of the writing.

I recently read through UNIX System Administration, by David
Fiedler and Bruce H. Hunter. I'd say it's a pretty fair guess that
the authors are NOT technical writers, yet I found the book highly
readable, simply because of the informal style and the fact that the
personality of the authors came through. I feel this encouraged
greater rapport between the authors and their audience (me). I'm
wondering if this principle is applicable elsewhere.

Steven J. Owens

Previous by Author: Re: Most Important Programs to Learn
Next by Author: Most Important Programs to Learn
Previous by Thread: Re: Re[2]: More personable tech writing
Next by Thread: All caps - why? (was: block lettering (readability))

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads