Re: paperless?

Subject: Re: paperless?
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 1995 13:32:48 -0800

> On Tue, 31 Jan 1995, Richard Lippincott wrote:
> >
> > 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.
> >
> snip
> >
> > We're trained in clear communication, but I have a hunch most of us aren't
> > 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.

And RoMay Sitze answered:

> This reminds me of a technique I use with my technical communications
> students. When a student is having difficulty with a paper, I ask them to
> read it aloud--or I read it to them and ask them to comment on what they
> hear. It can be eye-opening.

For complex technical information especially, I always assume
that the reader will subvocalize so I compose with that in mind.
It can really influence your choice of words, and it helps me
organize procedures so that they're clear. Maybe it's from so
many years in the corporate classroom, but I imagine myself
standing in front of the user and giving the instructions orally.
If I wouldn't say it that way in person, I usually won't write
it that way.

This technique also helps to remind me not to leave out the
obvious steps and to point out the visual cues.

Sue Gallagher
StarBase Corp, Irvine CA
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com

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