Numbered Lists in Technical Instructions

Subject: Numbered Lists in Technical Instructions
From: Eric Ray <ejray -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 1994 16:50:03 CDT

I'm forwarding this for Christie. Please respond to her
at the following address.
ejray -at- okway -dot- okstate -dot- edu

______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________
Subject: Numbered Lists in Technical Instructions
Author: Christie Turner <0006522201 -at- mcimail -dot- com> at SMTP
Date: 6/29/94 12:55 PM

Greetings! I am editing some documents at MCI Telecommunications in Richardson

An interesting question has arisen OTJ:

I am editing a document that must be formatted & distributed as ASCII text only,
with no fancy fonts, underlining, boldface, or any other creature comforts of
the word processing environment. :(

In instructions, does any hard, fast rule or precedent exist for punctuating
the numbers of a numbered list? Space is at a premium for us in these
do uments, and the format we use is very cluttered.

ehave seen these used:
1. 1:
2. 2: (etc.)

I favor the "1: texttext" format over the "1. texttext" format for this
arena, although it is nonstandard & violates the rule of Two Spaces After Every
Colon from English 101. My reasons are:

1: Many of our items within the list contain periods, but few contain colons

2: I am trying to convince the authors that they really need 2 spaces after
a period unless it's in a numeric usage like "Revision Level 3.11"--
especially after periods ending sentences.

3: I think it's less cluttered than "1) texttext"

4: Since the instructions are in a list form, it makes some sense to introduce
portions of a list with punctuation that usually denotes a list

I am curious to know what other writers think on the subject. A tech editor
can't be too careful.

I can't subscribe to lists from this address, but please feel free to forward
this to other writers who might have input.

Thanks for your time--


christie turner
MCI Telecommunications

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