Re: acceptable error rates

Subject: Re: acceptable error rates
From: Matthew Stern <MAStern -at- PLATSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 10:30:00 -0700


In response to several messages about how many typos it is considered
acceptable for a technical publication to have:

I never known a company that sought perfection in terms of avoiding
typos, misused words, and other minor errors. The main concern is
whether the document is technically accurate and readable. If there are
errors in the document, well, that's what the review process is for.

In general, it hasn't been a problem if one, two, or even a few typos or
misspelled words sneak in the final copy. At the time we finish a
document, we're more concerned about catching major errors and ensuring
that the manual is accurate than finding every minor flaw. Remember the
time crunch we normally face at the end of the project. We don't want to
hold up product shipment because we demand that our manuals be
typographically flawless.

Typos and writing lapses become a problem is when a writer's sloppiness
(both in typos and in accuracy) *consistently* interferes with the
documentation process -- such as when it normally takes too long for an
editor to mark up that writer's manuals or when significant amounts of
inaccurate material written by that writer needs to be corrected at the
last minute. This is a qualitative issue based on the writer's ability
to work with others and produce acceptable work. Not all of these
attributes can be easily quantified.

Hope this helps.

Matthew Stern
Sr. Technical Writer
Platinum Software Corporation
mastern -at- platsoft -dot- com

The opinions expressed here, on-target or not, or solely my own.

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