Re: Redundancy ("Our product is...")

Subject: Re: Redundancy ("Our product is...")
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 08:24:55 -0800

>I'm accustomed to seeing a lot of brochures starting
>"Our product is designed to..."-- which makes me think
>that the brochure is a direct and under-edited descendant
>of the original development spec.

>Also makes me think that maybe whether the product does
>what it was designed to do is another question.

Of course. Saying that a product is "designed to do X" leave the
question of whether it actually DOES X open. If you assume that writers
write with purpose and deliberation, you must assume that such statements
have meaning. The only purpose I can ascribe to statements such
as, "The TITANNIC is designed to cross the Atlantic in perfect safety"
is to admit doubt. Saying "The TITANNIC will cross the Atlantic in
perfect safety" lacks the doubt, as does crosses/has crossed/is crossing.
Truth, of course, is another matter.

The reader generally doesn't care what the product was DESIGNED to do;
he only cares what it DOES. My marketing literature for WEITEK never
said "The Power 9000 was designed to be a competitive alternative
to Sun's GX graphics chip in the SPARC clone market," it said, "The
Power 9000 is a high-performance Windows accelerator for today's
PCs." The first statement, while perfectly true, noted a historical
curiosity about the chip, rather than a useful statement of what
use a real customer might find for it.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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