Re : "It Ain't Literature, Y'know"

Subject: Re : "It Ain't Literature, Y'know"
From: Frederic Wronecki <frederic -dot- wronecki -at- WANADOO -dot- FR>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 1996 11:10:20 -0700

Friedlander_Tori <torif -at- KSL -dot- CO -dot- IL> wrote :

> He said that if he wrote,

> Pound the nail into the wall with a hammer.

> someone might use their head to pound the nail with rather than read
> to the end of the sentence. Instead, he prefers to write:

> Using a hammer, pound the nail into the wall.
> or
> Using columnar spacers, place the ....

> Whether his sentence structure is correct or not, is one issue. For
> me, the more important point was his statement, "this ain't
> literature, you know." Its not the first time he's said it either.


Why not use tables with distinct columns for the action itself
and the means to perform it ?
The example we're dwelling over is so straightforward that
the discussion sounds "byzantine", but if the means is
something complex, grouping it with the action in the same sentence
can make it difficult to read, whatever the ordering.

Compare (totally fictitious example) :

3 - Using voltmeter VM344 set on the "Max" position, check the tension
between A and B is strictly lower than 5 V.

With :

Step Action Means Result
3 Check tension between Voltmeter VM344 Must be < 5 V
A and B set on "Max"

This isn't literature... this MUST NOT BE literature.

And finally : did you test different options on end-users ?
Frederic Wronecki
France Telecom, Paris, France
mailto:frederic -dot- wronecki -at- wanadoo -dot- fr

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