Re: acceptable error rates

Subject: Re: acceptable error rates
From: Iain Harrison <iharrison -at- SCT -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 16:07:08 GMT

R Shade writes:
>>
Our company is presently developing
a list of goals for our tech writers. One
area that they would like to have better defined is the
industry standard for the acceptable rate of typographical
errors in a document.
<<

I think there is a serious risk of chucking the baby out with the
bathwater here.

This reminds me of the measure of efficiency that requires a
phone call to be answered within two rings, but allows it to be
left on hold for the next ten minutes.

Typographical errors? They are relatively easy to measure (though
if you can find them, why not just do it earlier and call it
proofreading?) but not what you ought to be looking at. A
well-written, understandable document with the occasional typo is
infinitely preferable to an incomplete, confusing or impenetrable
one.

Don't let an easy measure of documentation quality supplant
finding a good, useful one!

Iain
iharrison -at- sct -dot- co -dot- uk


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