Re: Standards

Subject: Re: Standards
From: BurkBrick -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 1994 12:48:29 EDT

|} I can't help wondering why we can't agree on a standard and
|} use it. Maybe all of us won't agree, but if most of us
|} agree (given that the standard is grammatically sound), why
|} not adopt it? Then we wouldn't have to spend the time
|} to rehash this stuff again and again.
|} I think the discussions are useful, but we should reach
|} a decision and stick with it as a group (all techncial
|} communicators).

Sounds like I'm the only one to agree with Caryn on this, but I think it
would be a great idea for STC or Techwr-L to come up with standards. It would
be nice to have a technical writing specific style guide to go to instead of
_The Chicago Manual of Style_ when I have a question. (I also use _The
Handbook of Technical Writing_, but it doesn't cover as many specifics.)

Sure, not everyone will agree. Of course some of the industry heavy-hitters
(including the government) won't change their ways. But there's lots of us
little guys and gals out here who keep recreating the wheel by inventing
company standards that are just a little bit different than the next

Seems to me we could come up with an authoritative source that says it's OK
to put the comma or period outside of the quotes if there's a chance for
confusion; that gives abbreviations in something other than all caps for
items like milliamps and alternating current; that resolves the
Danger/Caution/Warning dispute between military, ANSI, and a host of
conflicting industry standards; that gives advice on how and when to use
punctuation in a bulleted list; and that gives guidelines on how much
information should be in each step of an enumerated list and how it should be

For starters, we could start with the questions asked on this list. Maybe
make it a session at the next STC conference. (The next big question is WHO
gets this lovely task.)

Anyway, there's my two cents. Take it and buy, uh, well, uh, not much, I


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