Re: What the f -at- #$?

Subject: Re: What the f -at- #$?
From: Mike Pope <mikep -at- ASYMETRIX -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 1994 12:04:00 PDT

>Scott, not to be contentious, <pause with grin> but as technical writers
>rather than literary writers, is it not our goal to be precisely, un-
>ambiguously, understood by our readers? We're not in the business of
>obfuscation for the purposes of impressing or in the name of propriety, or
>evoking interestng, alternative imagery and ideas in our readers' minds.
>That's either for marketing types, old ladies (sexism not intended but
>or fiction writers, depending on the purpose.

>If this is true, then it follows that our word choices should reflect as
>exactly as possible what they mean! <triumphant grin>

Do you find that you use these words a lot in your technical writing? No?!
even when they are *precisely* the correct word? Example error message:

Damn! File not open.

This discussion strikes me as kind of silly. This is a public forum, and
should behave themselves accordingly. Use language that you'd use in any
public assemblage of professionals; for example, language you'd use if you
at the podium for an STC meeting.

Any given sampling of participants might not be offended by curse words, but
some probably are. So why antagonize people? My personal rule is that I
use language I'd use around my mother-in-law. Keeps me in line.


-- Mike Pope
mikep -at- asymetrix -dot- com

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