Re: redundancy

Subject: Re: redundancy
From: ellen trevarthen <trevar -at- PRIMENET -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 1994 16:50:29 MST

In article <Pine -dot- OSF -dot- 3 -dot- 91 -dot- 941207184533 -dot- 2894A-100000 -at- hubcap -dot- clemson -dot- edu> Peter W
Praetorius <ppraeto -at- hubcap -dot- clemson -dot- edu> writes:
>From: Peter W Praetorius <ppraeto -at- hubcap -dot- clemson -dot- edu>
>Subject: redundancy
>Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 00:19:37 GMT

>I am presently working for a manufacturer of lawn mowers. Today the boss,
>while editing a manual in print, asked my opinion of a sentence that he
>feels is redundant, yet he's wondering if leaving it in might be better
>from a legal standpoint. One of the main reasons for the manuals is to
>protect the company from law suits. For instance, one person sued the
>company for not warning him that he should not use the machine for a hedge
>trimmer -- he lost some fingers. Now all manuals have a statement that
>says that the mower is to be used solely for cutting grass.

>So what do you all think of this sentence? Should the material after the
>"slash" (/) mark be deleted? And is there ever a place for redundancy
>in technical writing?

>"Always operate at speeds that allow you to have complete control of the
>tractor / and can maneuver safely or stop in case of an emergency."

>Probably not the best sentence to begin with, but his feeling was that
>"complete control" would imply "maneuver safely. . . ."

Pete, don't take this personally, if you wrote the sentence.... But it struck
me as very amateurish. It certainly wouldn't pass for a disclaimer of any
kind. Have you suggested to your boss that he consult the company's
legal advisors (silly question??). And has anyone looked into how other
companies with similar equipment have worded warnings like this in
their instruction manuals? It seems to me that the sentence should be
much more specific. The kinds of statements made in instruction book-
lets that come with hair blowers come to mind. They say things like
"NEVER use this appliance near water..... or

"Use this product only for its intended use as described in this manual.
Do not use attachments not recommended by the manufacturer..... or

Never drop or insert any object into any opening."

As you can see, these statements are much stronger and more specific.

Hope these thoughts help.


Previous by Author: Re: Health Insurance for Contractors
Next by Author: Re: Use of K (thousand) and M (million)
Previous by Thread: Re: redundancy
Next by Thread: Good Times! - CIAC Advisory concerning the email virus hoax

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads