Re: Humor in Manuals

Subject: Re: Humor in Manuals
From: Marci Abels <maa5906 -at- CCP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 06:30:15 -0500

At 11:35 AM 5/23/96 +1000, you wrote:
>>> 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.

Well, we are reviewing a manual fro one of our companion products right now.
They are supplying equipment to the utility industry. Call me stuffy if ya
hafta, but I think a cutsy cartoon depicting a man being electrocuted by
having his equipment run into live electrical wires while he is in a bucket
at the end of an extended boom boom is tasteless. I hated the whole humor
concept in this manual. Maybe it's appropriate in some manuals, but I much
prefer straightforward graphics and clearly worded warnings to cartoons and
cute expressions in this case.

maa5906 -at- ccp -dot- com

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