Re: Contractions in User Guides

Subject: Re: Contractions in User Guides
From: Tom Davey <tdavey -at- IBM -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 13:52:38 EST

** Reply to note from Karen Mayer
<Karen_Mayer -dot- TOUCH_TECHNOLOGY -at- NOTES -dot- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM> 12/11/95
6:01pm EST

> I noticed that quite a few manuals contain contractions these days, and
> wondered how widespread their use is. I don't mind them, but I was taught
> to write out the words instead. Do you use contractions? If so, why? If
> not, why not? (Has any research been done on this topic?)

I've always regarded it as a matter of tone, formal vs. informal.

Any docs written in the second person (directly addressing the reader as "you,"
as in, "You should bear in
mind that Windows 95 multitasks less robustly than OS/2 Warp," then I use
contractions too. Casual tone,


Metatext Writing Services * * * Tom Davey
Writing for the computer networking industry
tdavey -at- ibm -dot- net * 415-621-4880 (voice) * 415-431-7715 (fax)

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