Re: "You may click" vs. "Click"

Subject: Re: "You may click" vs. "Click"
From: "D. Citron" <dcitron -at- GATE -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 1994 04:14:03 GMT

Peggy_Thompson -at- ccmail -dot- osti -dot- gov wrote:
: When writing instructional materials, I assume all of you write
: in the second person: "At the prompt, type blah blah blah..."
: But do you ever write, "At the prompt, YOU MAY type blah blah to
: access the system"?
: I never add the "you may's." But an editor friend of mine said
: this has become a BIG issue in her office; she wondered what
: others are doing.

I would NEVER do that. Your audience is generally in a hurry. "You may"
adds nothing in usability or understandability. It does, however, waste
the reader's time, not to mention trees and soybeans. Maybe even disk
space. I'd hate to see a distribution disk set require adding a disk
because the on-line help wasn't concise enough.

Then again, since my newspaper days, I have always written as "tight" as
I can. Be concise!

"Live long and prosper -- without government interference!"
...Mr. Spock, before the NBC censors got to him, stardate 1966

David H. Citron .................................... dcitron -at- gate -dot- net
Tech Writer/Journalist/Copywriter -- Contract/Freelance/Telecommuting
| Can you trust a government that subsidizes tobacco and tries to |
| ban vitamins to make intelligent choices about YOUR health care? |
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" ... Benjamin Franklin

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