Re: Too informal?

Subject: Re: Too informal?
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 1995 16:19:23 -0700

Rikki wonders...
[snip description of a table with a "Does this..." column heading]

> The audience:

> Ordinary, non-technical types.

> The issue:

> Is the "Does this..." too informal?

> What do you think?

> How informal or formal do we have to be? What kind of guidelines do you use
> personally?

There is no hard and fast rule that says we have to be
formal (or unformal, either, for that matter) -- so the
rule I follow is "do what seems right for the intended
audience". "Ordinary, non-technical types" usually
prefer an informal tone that is easy-to-read, direct,
and to the point. So I'd say your "Does this..."
column is OK as long as it fits in well with the
writing style you use in the rest of the book.

I've used "Element,Description, Use" as column headings
before -- and I've never been really sure that "Use"
comes across as "uce" - the noun - rather than "uze"
- the verb. "Does this..." circumvents that problem
quite nicely.

> Thanks again for the benefit of your thousand years of experience!

Sorry, Rikki -- only about 1/3 of those thousand years
belong to me.


Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com

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