Re: Re. Use of voice in instructions

Subject: Re: Re. Use of voice in instructions
From: "Thomas E. Potter" <TPotter243 -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 20:23:42 -0500

In a message dated 95-12-19 13:05:03 EST, geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA (Geoff Hart)

>I'd suggest that this is a case that's tailor-made for the
> imperative voice. Instead of saying "you should not touch
> live wires" or "the operator, s/he should not touch", or
> "the wires should not be touched", simply say "Don't touch
> the wires." To be consistent, make all actions parallel:
> "Do this or don't do that", as appropriate.

I've been doing this for 10 years with no problems. Of course, I started in
this business writing military documents. As a matter of fact the military
document requirements are for all procedure steps to be in the second person,

I don't understand why personal pronouns are such a problem for others. We
all grew up saying "Go", "Stop", "Bring me the ball" with the "You" perfectly
understood. Why does it get to be such a problem now.

Tom Potter
Houston, TX
TPotter243 -at- aol -dot- com

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