Re: Contractions in general

Subject: Re: Contractions in general
From: Martyn Thirlway <thirlwaym -at- USOFT -dot- NL>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 15:02:00 PDT

Kent wrote:
>I think it depends on several factors, such as the projected audience,
>the subject matter, and whether the manuals will be translated. A
>software manual for the mass market probably should have contractions to
>acheive a conversational tone. A dissertation on a complex chemistry
>experiment to be presented in a trade journal probably should not have
>contractions.

I agree, and to add yet one more point: if a manual is NOT going to be
translated, but WILL be read by non-English-speaking readers, then
contractions can sometimes cause them to stumble over the meaning,
especially where the contraction is pronounced differently from the normal
words ("don't" instead of "do not" for example).

Martyn Thirlway
thirlwaym -at- usoft -dot- nl
["This writing business, pencils and what-not. Overrated if you ask me."
Eeyore]

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