Opinions on instruction style (fwd)

Subject: Opinions on instruction style (fwd)
From: Kathlyn Auten <kathlyna -at- DADD -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 1994 11:46:39 -0500

Hi Wanda Jane,
If your coworkers want to titillate their readers, they should keep
up with "desire" and "desired." These words always make me think of
shmaltzy romance novels. You should see the synonyms the FrameMaker
thesaurus comes up with for "desire"! Most have a sexual connotation.
(The instructor in our Frame training class used this word for the
thesaurus exercise, and the results produced quite a few giggles--
as the instructor intended...)

I prefer to get to the point-- why not just write "choose x, y or
z?" Or "choose options x, y or z?" I've never had to include
"wish", "want" or "desire" in any document-- these words are just
extra baggage. Does the writer think I'm intentionally going to choose
an option I DON'T want? (In any case, I wouldn't consider using
"desire" in any serious technical document. Don't want users
drooling all over those "desired" options...)

> I'm running into a bit of a conflict here and I want some outside
> opinions. The interface for the product I'm working on involves a lot
> of selecting items from lists. Every time they instruct a user to
> select an item from a list, the other writers use the phrase "Choose
> the desired..." fill in the blank item. This drives me bananas but if
> enough of you tell me I'm a fool and I should just settle down then,
> I'll drink less coffee, more juice, and I'll practice breathing
> exercises.

Good luck,

Kathlyn Auten INTERNET: kathlyna -at- dadd -dot- ti -dot- com
Texas Instruments
PO Box 650311 M/S 3937
Dallas, TX 75265
Voice: (214)917-1732
FAX: (214)917-7966

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