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"Well, darn it, I like contractions in technical writing, and as a lead
writer, I have blessed their use in our documentation."
I think the key issue here is not: "Are contractions OK for technical
writing?" but "How would the use of contractions affect your audience's
perceptions?" If you, as a writer, see a clear benefit to a more
conversational, informal tone, then contractions are OK. However, if the
document must be formal, if the author's tone needs to command respect,
contractions are not OK. The issue is whether contractions are right for you
purpose and audience. This choice is part of being a writer; not just one who
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