Re: Basic rules of technical writing

Subject: Re: Basic rules of technical writing
From: Laura Johnson <lauraj -at- CND -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 1994 18:30:00 GMT

CJBenz (cjbenz -at- aol -dot- com) wrote:
: Let me ask you this: What good is technical correctness if no one
: understands it?

It isn't any good, but it's still better than being understandable
and technically incorrect. Here's why (exaggerated, of course):

Correct but incomprehensible: Put the frabbertigibbet in the oomphalo.
User reaction: I don't know what the hell they want me to do. I'm calling
tech support.

Comprehensible but incorrect: Put tab A into slot B. [Tab A *really*
needs to go into the oomphalo, but the oomphalo is hard to find and not
labeled, and the customers don't know what an oomphalo is anyway.]
Customer: Puts tab A into slot B, causing the entire frommwhal assembly
to be structurally unsound.

I propose -- no, I insist -- that the first scenario is preferable to
the second, even though it results in a call to tech support (which is
what we writers are supposed to prevent).

Can you give a (similarly exaggerated, if you like) example of sacrificing
technical correctness for understandability??

Laura Johnson
lauraj -at- fc -dot- hp -dot- com
Hewlett Packard NSMD
Ft. Collins, CO

Previous by Author: cmsg cancel <3d9jt9$m2h -at- tadpole -dot- fc -dot- hp -dot- com>
Next by Author: Re: Golden Rules of Writing
Previous by Thread: Re: Basic rules of technical writing
Next by Thread: Re: Basic rules of technical writing

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

Sponsored Ads