Re: (Was Glossaries etc.)

Subject: Re: (Was Glossaries etc.)
From: Lori Lathrop <76620 -dot- 456 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 1994 14:45:25 EST

Chad Hill asks:

> I'm wondering about this glossary thing...
> [... stuff deleted ...]
> What I'm wondering is this: Would my audience (typically uninitiated
> technologically) benefit from BOTH an index AND a glossary, or margin
> definitions AND a glossary. I seem to think that the later of the two
> would be most helpful to my particular audience (but I'm quite interested
> in your responses).
> Oh, the new and improved guide is to be more compact (ie much shorter)
> in order to drop our printing costs a bit. Just another proverbial
> 'fly in the ointment'

Look out, Chad ... you've touched my hot button :-> ... I'm a professional
indexer, and one of the things I stress in my indexing workshops is that
there is no better retrievability tool than an index.

An index does much more than point to definitions in the text. A well-
written, comprehensive index provides readers with a topic analysis (not
an outline or a list of definitions or a rewritten version of the table
of contents or ... okay, okay, I'll stop at that). My point is this --
How could a glossary or definitions in the margin replace an index?

If your document is at least ten pages in length, an index is probably
a good idea ... whether or not you decide to include definitions in the
margin or a glossary. Got it?

Lori Lathrop ------------> INTERNET:76620 -dot- 456 -at- compuserve -dot- com
Lathrop Media Services
P.O. Box 808
Georgetown, CO 80444

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