more on writin _rules_

Subject: more on writin _rules_
From: Ronald Lee Stone <ston0030 -at- GOLD -dot- TC -dot- UMN -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 02:25:53 -0500

TECHWR-L folk,

I was going to stay out of this, since a few of you hinted
and informed that TC cannot be brainlessly reduced to a few
rules. But seeing "The Golden Rules of Writing" again and
again and again has unlurked me.

Here are my comments (apologies if anyone already said this):

Readability, consistency, grammar, and accuracy all have
their places in technical communication. And yet any of
these concepts may exist in tension among the others. A
technical communicator will apply readability, consistency,
grammar, and accuracy in light of the audience and purpose
considerations for a given situation.

For example, a flat map of the world cannot be said to be
truly accurate, for the world is not flat. And yet flat maps
are used to convey physical and georgraphical information that
is understandable, consistent, and grammatical in accordance
to the purpose of conveying select information.

I am not trivializing readability, consistency, grammar, or
accuracy here. Having said this I hope that this doesn't become
a readability/consistency/grammar/accuracy witch hunt.

: > >> The Golden Rules of Writing
: > >> 1. Make it understandable.
: > >> 2. Make it consistent, unless that interferes with Rule 1.
: > >> 3. Make it grammatically correct, unless that interferes with Rule 1 or
: > >> 4. Make it technically correct, unless that interferes with Rule 1, 2, or
: > >> 3.

Until later,


Ronald L. Stone : ston0030 -at- gold -dot- tc -dot- umn -dot- edu : (612) 644-9706
graduate student : Scientific & Technical Communication
Department of Rhetoric : University of Minnesota, St. Paul

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