Re: paperless?

Subject: Re: paperless?
From: Richard Lippincott <rlippinc -at- BEV -dot- ETN -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 08:24:30 EST

Back on the paper vs. electronic debate, Michael Priestly said that one
advantage of electronic documentation is:

>(with speech synthesis, for example, you don't need to be able to read to
>have access to a document)...

Uh-oh. I wouldn't do that.

There is a distinct difference in the writing style between "ear copy" and
"read copy" writing styles. This is something that is taught to broadcast
journalism students. The reason is that when reading, the eye can pause
over words, the receiver (reader) can control the rate at which the
information flows from the page/screen into the brain. When listening, that
infomration rate is controlled by the sender.

In other words, if you're reading a story in the New York Times, and you
get confused, you can go back to paragraph one. You can't ask Connie Chung
to repeat herself in the middle of the CBS Evening News.

We're trained in clear communication, but I have a hunch most of us aren't up
for having our manuals translated directly to audio. I could be wrong: give
it a try. Read a procedure to a person unfamiliar with your product, see if
they comprehend as well as if they had a written page.

Rick Lippincott
Eaton Semiconductor
Beverly, MA
rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com

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