Re[2]: Questions that are not questions

Subject: Re[2]: Questions that are not questions
From: doug montalbano <doug_montalbano -at- CC -dot- CHIRON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 1995 13:53:50 PST

Stephen Jong, in attempting to answer Beverly Parks' posting,
sayeth unto the List:

<deleted> ... yes, they should indeed be in the form of questions. In fact,
in the example she cites, I think that her "silly" solution is perfectly fine:
QUESTION: "When I request an update, my e-mail host returns a
HOST UNKNOWN message. Why?"
Variants can of course be "Why, when I request an update...?" or "When I
request an update, why does...?"

Actually, Steve, it appears to me that she was more bothered by the
the fact that the list was headed QUESTIONS and was asking for
another way to describe the list.

But to reply in turn to Steve's remark, the reason that the
question form isn't used (and the "why?" is implied) is because it
is necessary to set up the context. It would be possible to set up
the sentence so that it follows a question format, but to do so
would be extremely awkward-sounding, IMO (not H).

I agree with Steve that following the sentence with a "Why?"
one-word sentence is a good (although not the only) solution.
Depending on the type of documentation, the audience, and how much
time you want to spend on this problem, you could set up the
contexts in other ways, to allow actual questions.

And to answer Beverly's original post: I would probably rename the
list (if I renamed it at all) "COMMON PROBLEMS", as a subsection of
whatever section this list is in.

Doug_Montalbano -at- cc -dot- chiron -dot- com

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