Re: Redundancy & obscurity patrol

Subject: Re: Redundancy & obscurity patrol
From: Dan Martillotti <danm -at- DEV -dot- TIVOLI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 09:05:31 CST

IMHO, numbers always indicate an order. I must complete step one to before
attempting step 2. In the case below, either rewriting the sentence or using
an unordered list would work.

----- Begin Included Message -----
I find the numbering of things to follow redundant, especially for small
numbers. Does it enhance the reader's knowledge of the system to

* There are two ways to fraz the blorfle:
* 1 - Select the blorfle by using the cursor motion keys or the mouse,
* and then click the Fraz button.
* or
* 2 - Double-click on the blorfle.

as opposed to

* To fraz the blorfle:
* ...

In the first example, the number two is a fact that is of no use to the
reader, and which the reader can easily derive in the unlikely event
of somebody needing to know the number of ways to fraz a blorfle.
And it's a fact that may well become obsolete. I've inherited a number
of documents that had that kind of useless numbers, where the
number is no longer accurate. Somebody added a third way to fraz
a blorfle. Rather than correct the number, I usually rephrase the
text to skip the number altogether.

----- End Included Message -----

Dan Martillotti ******************
* * *
Tivoli Systems * * * *
(512)502-4759 * * * ** ** "The more that you read, the more
danm -at- tivoli -dot- com * * * * * * * things you will know. The more that
* * * * * you learn, the more places you'll go."
Class of '90 * - Dr. Seuss

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