Re: Redundancy & obscurity patrol -Reply

Subject: Re: Redundancy & obscurity patrol -Reply
From: ROMAY SITZE <rositze -at- NMSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 23:20:47 -0700

On Tue, 16 Jan 1996, Susan W. Gallagher wrote:

> I've worked under many a style guide that shuned "should" -- the
> reasoning was if it's something the user *should* do, just tell
> them to do it. Consequently, I've disciplined myself to limit
> *should* instructions (and I don't think I've ever used "need to"
> or "ought" -- at least past the first draft). I must admit to using
> "must" on occasion, though. (So basically, I agree with you about
> the "need to", I'm just not quite as liberal on the "should".)

> Another red-flag word I though of yesterday just after I hit the
> send button is "will". I sometimes get sloppy with tense in the
> first draft, so I mark every occurrence of "will" and do my best
> to change future to present tense wherever I can.

Seeing this post reminded me of the Quality Control Manual I rewrote for
one company. Many of the statements in this manual began with "The
employee shall..." do whatever. I really came to dislike this phrase--it
always seemed to me that an active statement would accomplish the task as
well or better--but my boss insisted on this phrasing.

RoMay Sitze, rositze -at- nmsu -dot- edu


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