TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:marginal :-) definitions (was Re: "dummy" books to...) From:Kelly Hoffman <kelly -at- NASHUA -dot- HP -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 28 Mar 1994 17:27:09 EST
Bonni Graham <bonnig -at- AOL -dot- COM> writes:
> I love the idea of margin definitions. [...]
> I thnks having the definitions in the margin,
> indicated with bold text in the index, and no glossary would be more
> intuitive than the current system. Anyone want to poke holes in this?
It would work for text that you expect will be read serially -- say, for
an introductory chapter or a tutorial book.
However, for a book that's more likely to be flipped through (random
access, rather than sequential ;-), how would you deal with multiple
references to the same term?
With a glossary (and with hypertext), you can have the definition in a
single location, which the reader can reference as needed. With marginal
notations only, are you going to put the definitions in the margin at
each occurrence? As a reader, I think I'd find this scheme distracting.
Kelly K. Hoffman kelly -at- nashua -dot- hp -dot- com
Learning Products Engineer
Hewlett-Packard, Network Test Division "Reading the manual is
One Tara Blvd., Nashua, NH 03062 admitting defeat."