Re: Dummy-style writing. WAS:Book types most favored

Subject: Re: Dummy-style writing. WAS:Book types most favored
From: Suzanne Gerrior <Suzanne -dot- Gerrior -at- SOFTIMAGE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 1996 08:56:53 -0400

On the other hand, what if you have a more conservative writing style, but it's
your editor who puts in condescending, irritating cutisms (wants to make the
manuals more user friendly). And it's the editor who gets the final word. How
do you deal with an editor who changes the entire style of the manual into
something you hate? Purely a hypothetical question, of course!


On Sep 29, 6:42pm, Rebecca Phillips wrote:
> Subject: Dummy-style writing. WAS:Book types most favored
> Are you that surprised there are "dummies and idiots" books in a
> marketplace? Look at TV and magazine ads. Keep the topic/message =
> simple.=20
> <snip>

> Simple sells. Simple is easily understood.

> I am not surprised, nor do I scorn the simple. Remember, I write user =
> manuals.=20

> I try to keep in mind that there is a fine line between simple and =
> condescending. I don't cross it and I don't like manuals that cross it. =
> Yes, I know the "for Dummies" part is meant to be funny. In fact, it =
> *is* funny, and original, and it is not surprising that it makes money.=20

> That said, I have to add that I do find the buddy-buddy Micro$oft style =
> to be condescending and distracting. I suspect it is fun to write =
> phrases like "I've prattled on about ..." or "It isn't a good idea to =
> ..." without worrying that some stiff-shirted editor will take away =
> your poetic license. I won't go so far as to say that type of writing is =
> bad. (It is much better than the old-fashioned insomnia cure type of =
> writing.) However, I do think it is overly informal and detracts from =
> what you are saying in the same way any superfluous or inexact phrases =
> detract from making your point.=20

> Rebecca M. Phillips
> Documentation Manager
> Qronus Interactive Ltd.
> Automated System Testing
> rebecca -at- qronus -dot- co -dot- il

>-- End of excerpt from Rebecca Phillips

Suzanne Gerrior

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