Humor in Manuals

Subject: Humor in Manuals
From: scot <scot -at- HCI -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 11:35:36 +1000

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

>An early Juki daisywheel printer manual, done by a California firm, had
>superb one-frame cartoons in the margins of some of the pages. They were
>well drawn, tasteful, and funny. I don't remember the tone of the text
>itself, but I do remember that it was a complete technical programming
>and operation manual.

>A guy brought it to a computer club meeting. Everybody loved it. No one
>thought the cartoons were inappropriate or the manual lacked class.

... But the only thing you remember about it that it was _FUNNY_. What about
the printer's operational details (the important bit)? You admit you don't
remember the text! What sort of _manual_ is that?

Has anyone ever seen those John Cleese training videos - you know, there's
one on telephone manner and others on (similar) basic topics.

People _remember_ the videos all right, (the reason they used a comedy star
like Cleese in them), but what they remember, is JOHN CLEESE WAS FUNNY, the
actual information they were meant to retain is swamped by the humour.

When I want to laugh, I buy a funny book, if I want John Cleese, I rent a
Monty Python video.

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