You Use 'you'?

Subject: You Use 'you'?
From: "Cheng, Derek" <Cderek -at- GATE-HAL -dot- PSD -dot- SYMBOL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 1994 13:21:29 EDT

In a meager attempt to get back to reality, I'm just wondering:

When does the use of the second person in documents hinder, and when does
it help?

Admittedly, a user document is always implying second person, but does it
ever explicitly need some sort of disclaimer within the text? (i.e. "
'You' refers to the
programmer/user/lost-soul-seeking-informational-refuge. ") Isn't this the
same as stating who the intended audience is?

"You's" and "Your's" give a personal, gentle, warm-fuzzy, wet-nose-doggy
feeling, but who really cares about that in technical documents, right?

Not using "you" may require a passive structure, unless the construction
is clean (or passive is desired, but assuming it isn't). We are trying to
achieve clean sentences and clean ideas, eh? (No, I'm not Canadian; I'm
just drawn that way. Please: no Canadian hate/flame mail, my server can't
handle it.) *smile*


// I have plans that are unbelievable, but then wanting to be a guitar
// player seemed unbelievable at one time.
- Jimi Hendrix
// //
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===============================O// //
// /// // // // // // // // //
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//// cderek -at- psd -dot- symbol -dot- com

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