Re: Manuals Written in Non-American English

Subject: Re: Manuals Written in Non-American English
From: s_dale <s_dale -at- CBLTECH -dot- DEMON -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 15:34:03 GMT

I hail from across the (not a) pond (the Atlantic for those who are not in
North America or Britain - another culture thing) so I shall offer you my
comments. (I have also worked quite a lot in the USA.)

I disagree with your point 5 - see above example.
Don't make up any words! I should hope not! Although I have heard and used
"functionality" so much that I can no longer remember the alternative!
I can't imagine why you would want to use "pastrami and sauerkraut on brown
pumpernickel" in technical writing!
I don't know if you can patent a list but it would be a useful one. Of course,
there are also all the different words used which many people know already:
truck=boot and so on for car parts
and some more obscure and subtle ones:
do you know what a fortnight is? (2 weeks=14 nights)
I have observed that Americans use "also" much more often than the British, who
say "too", although this may be a regional thing.
licence (US) could be licence or license (ditto practice)

I wonder if the British-English writers are more aware than Americans of the
differences, because more films are American than British and more
spell-checkers are too! I find it a fascinating subject.

PS. leave out the football (yawn), sorry soccer!

In your message dated Wednesday 21, August 1996 you wrote :
> > I know several regular contributors hail from across a pond. Any
> insights from them or anyone else would be most helpful.

> 1. Put a "U" in colour and honour.
> 2. Never use the word "gotten".
> 3. Don't make any words up.
> 4. Avoid using words which other people have made up
> (like "functionality").
> 5. Remember, full stops and commas go outside of brackets
> and quotes.
> 6. Avoid nasty jargon, like "ballpark figure", "touch base",=20
> "pastrami and sauerkraut on brown pumpernickel" etc.

> That should just about do it. If you're in any doubt, give your work to =
> an English editor who, I'm sure, will be more than happy to anglicise =
> (not "anglicize"!) it.

> Hmmm ... perhaps I could patent this list.

> manchesterunitedmanchesterunitedmanchesterunitedmanchesterunited
> Mike Bygrave (bygravem -at- intuitive -dot- co -dot- uk)
> Standard disclaimer - Please don't sue me
> 1966 was a great year for English football - Cantona was born
> manchesterunitedmanchesterunitedmanchesterunitedmanchesterunited

Sue Dale

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