Re: Redundancy & obscurity patrol

Subject: Re: Redundancy & obscurity patrol
From: "Brad Barnes (T)" <blb -at- FORMTEK -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 18:53:56 -0500

>> At 1:31 PM 1/12/96, Cathy Quinones wrote:
> >I've been enjoying the thread about how much good tech writing is
> >worth (i.e., how to estimate what to charge, how much should one be
> >paid?). I particularly like the notion, mentioned by more than one
> >person, that good tech writers are valuable because they know what
> >words to throw away.
> >
> >With that in mind, would anyone be interested in sharing tricks that
> >help keep one's writing streamlined, clean and honest?

> I personally find any use of the words "wish" or "want" suspicious.
> Also, the word "should" is suspect. And I've seldome found a legitimate
> use for the phrase "in order to" -- "to" usually does it.

> A former employee who remains a very good friend once admitted that
> when she left my employ she created a macro that went through her
> documents an deleted the words "if you want", then capitalized
> the "t" in "to".

>Sue Gallagher

My weaknesses are "wish" and "may." I always need to run the Find and Replace feature to replace "wish" with "want" and "may" with "can." Wishes definately don't belong in technical writing. The more I think about it, the more ludricrous "wish" sounds in instructions or procedures. Those two words--wish and may--have a way of sneaking into my premliminary drafts.

Brad Barnes
Technical Writer

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