Re: British English in _tech writing_ (#19924)

Subject: Re: British English in _tech writing_ (#19924)
From: Bill Burns <wburns -at- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 1996 07:42:14 -0700

29-MAR-1996 07:38:25.98

>Just in case anybody else wants to respond to this, please,
>please, please read what I asked for and consider that this
>*is* the technical writing list, not the OffTopic list. I
>said that the hood/bonnet stuff was _irrelevant_ to tech
>writing. Could somebody think of some examples that *are*
>relevant to tech writing? Other stuff is amusing, but it
>should go on private notes to friends or on some other list,
>not here.

>When my original message is quoted, I kind of expect the
>response to respond to it. Go figure. I mean, if we can't
>read and respond to directions, what kind of tech writers
>are we?

>Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
>mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
>(standard disclaimer)

The differences between "hood" and "bonnet" may be irrelevant in software
documentation, but I doubt such issues would be considered irrelevant to
technical writers in the automotive industry. For the same audience, how about
truck/lorry? Someone else mentioned wrench/spanner. If any of these (such as
hood/bonnet) were somehow carried over metaphorically to a piece of equipment
with a hood-like cover (I can think of several examples in our production
areas), then the difference might be quite important in that environment. (How
about chemical hoods? Do the British have the same name for these?)

Part of the reason we have so much griping about off-topic postings is because
some of us view technical writing from our own, narrow perspective and don't
consider what may be relevant to others. (Of course, part of it is also because
we have so many off-topic posts <grin>.) In which technical environment are you
interested? Are you seeking word pairs relevant to medicine, aerospace,
biology, or computer sciences? If you are going to request information on such
a broad forum, you need to accept that some of the responses may not be wholly
relevant to YOUR needs, unless you are very clear about the nature of your
needs. Even if you are clear, your question may spawn subthreads in which you
have no interest. That's the nature of this type of discourse.

Where's our friendly British technical writer/idiot boy when we need him? (Out
there, David?)

Bill Burns
Assembly Training and Documentation Supervisor

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