More on apostrophes

Subject: More on apostrophes
From: John Glenn <sfarmh1 -at- SCFN -dot- THPL -dot- LIB -dot- FL -dot- US>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 1996 12:11:32 -0400

The thing I missed initially reading the Michal
Lastman (vs. Michal Lastman's) post was the job
location (Tel Aviv, Israel). %
Having worked in Israel (you guessed that,
right?), I suspect I know why the editor wants
to banish apostrophes. %
The manuals I wrote often were read by people
with English as a Second Language. %
These people are not stupid and the writing must
not be condescending, but it must be free of
ambiguity (as well as free, whenever possible,
of negatives and, if designed for U.S.
distribution, sex -- *gender,* I am told, is for
things; sex is for people [ ! ] ). %
Contractions easily can confuse a reader. Not
everyone understands what we take for granted. %
Other writing habits also lend themselves to
confusion. Parenthetical phrases (such as this
one) can destroy concentration. The old rules
of one thought-per-sentence need to be strictly
applied (but not *adhered to* -- there is no
excuse for bad grammar). %

The bottom line: Write to your reader's level of
comprehension of the language and of the
subject. %

If the reader fails to comprehend what we write,
our work is wasted and we have failed to do the
job for which we were employed. %
What I wrote before stands: clarity shall
prevail. Wish I would have thought of that
phrase, but I did not.) %

john glenn <sfarmh1 -at- scfn -dot- thpl -dot- lib -dot- fl -dot- us>
==================================================== not make a statement that cannot be easily
understood on the grounds that it will be understood
eventually. (Hillel)

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