Re: contractions in tech. writing

Subject: Re: contractions in tech. writing
From: Grant Hogarth <GRANT -at- ONYXGFX -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 11:23:16 +8

Michal Lastman <michall -at- aladdin -dot- co -dot- il> asks:

> What are the reasons for and against using contractions in technical
> writing?

In most technical writing, there are a lot of reasons for not using
contractions.

For one thing, not all contractions are agreed upon as being correct;
for another, it makes translation more difficult;
for a third, "informal" language (such as contractions), may not be
perceived as appropriate for the audience/subject matter.

(Try writing docs for the military, or for highly technical fields
(Airplane operating instructions, for example)... contractions will
get the red pencil faster than almost anything else I can think of! )

The only place that I can think of that it *may* be appropriate is
if you are writing a document that is attempting to be "user-cozy".

Grant

=====================================
Grant Hogarth, Information Developer, Onyx Graphics Corp. Midvale, UT
www.onyxgfx.com ftp.onyxgfx.com
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