Inappropriate Language

Subject: Inappropriate Language
From: Chris Hamilton <chamilton -at- GR -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 07:43:27 -0500

The second wave of messages in this topic seems to against those who
were offended by the post of language that might be considered
inappropriate on this list, especially against the people who said they
stopped reading when they reached that word. It seems to me that as
technical communicators, we need to be aware of our audience.

Using profanity in this forum might help to get a particular point
across, but at what cost? If you alienate readers, you might lose them
forever. I'm not saying that we have to write plain vanilla prose that
could never possibly offend anyone ever, just that we have to consider
the costs and benefits of what we write. I know a couple dozen political
quotes that would make for a really neat signature file, but I don't use
them because they will detract from other things I say by putting off
potential readers without any gain.

Is it my right to use them? Yes. Do I want to give up my right to use
them? Most certainly not.

Finally, I think that castigating those who were offended by the post is
intolerant and insulting. By doing so, you are saying that the things
they were brought up to believe and the codes they choose to follow are
without value. Or without as much value as the profanity to which they

I apologize for prolonging this thread, but I thought these points had
to be made.

Chris Hamilton
chamilton -at- gr -dot- com

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