Glossaries etc.

Subject: Glossaries etc.
From: "Nancy S. Burns" <nburns -at- NOAO -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 1994 15:58:02 -0825

In response to previous postings on the merits of defining terms in the (a)
wide margin of the page where the term occurs, (b) glossary, or (c) index,
I vote
for (b) and (c). I think (a) is a good idea, too, if your format includes a
if not, include the definition in the text with the term.

While using all three may seem
redundant, readers have different reasons for finding a definition. Multiple
listings give readers quick access to both a term's definition and its
occurrences. If readers are in the text, the definition is right there. If
they are
in the glossary, they may want to know where in the text the term appears, so
they go to the index. If they are in the index, they may only want a
so the index refers them to the glossary.

Authors of minimalist manuals may not take this approach because of the
repetition or the low need-to-know level of their readers.

In support of including a glossary: In his book, "Indexing from A to Z", Hans
Wellisch lists 13 common mistakes in indexes; #10 is "No entries for
illustrations, maps, tables, glossaries, or appendixes." Wellisch also
states that
"The presence of a glossary should be indexed, and the terms defined in it
...should also be indexed, preferably by a subheading "defined".

Nancy S. Burns
National Solar Observatory
Tucson, Arizona
e-mail: nburns -at- noao -dot- edu

"Vision is the art of seeing things invisible."
- Jonathan Swift

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