Re: Computers aren't hammers (more on passives)

Subject: Re: Computers aren't hammers (more on passives)
From: Richard Sobocinski <"Richard_G_Sobocinski%~WHC207"@CCMAIL.PNL.GOV>
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 07:43:00 -0700

Richard Burnham writes:

On a related point, one of my clients has a style guide that
prohibits the use of modal verbs (can, may, should etc.) Now, I
appreciate that they often introduce ambiguity, especially "may"
and "should", but do other readers think that modal verbs should
be banned altogether? I actually *like* the word "can" where it
is unambiguous, with its suggestion of "empowerment" (vogue
word) of the user:
I prefer style guides that "discourage" rather than outright
prohibit. In my industry, the ambiguities are wrung out by
providing clear definitions. The word "should" is
discouraged and "shall" is defined to mean *requirement*.

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