Using Humor Judiciously

Subject: Using Humor Judiciously
From: "Dave L. Meek's User Account" <dave -at- SYNERGEX -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 13:01:18 -0700

Eric wrote:

Subject: Using Humor Judiciously

I'd be interested in hearing comments from anyone
about judicious use of humor in documentation
or books.

Depends on your audience.

The only time I include humor in my technical writing is when the
training department will be using the document in a classroom
setting. A big problem with humor is that it doesn't work for
everyone. If the humor fails in a training lecture, I can change
or remove it. If that same humor fails in product documentation,
it's out there staggering along in the world until the next document
release. My audience seeks information, not entertainment, when
they open one of my documents.

However, if the audience expects ahead of time a humorous
presentation, such as the ubiquitous "Dummies" books, the lack of
humor would disappoint them.

| "Watch that first steppe! It's a doozie!" Napoleon Bonaparte |
| Russian Campaign, 1814 |

Dave Meek

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