Re: Style Guide or Style Edict?

Subject: Re: Style Guide or Style Edict?
From: Lisa Higgins <lisa -at- DRDDO1 -dot- EI -dot- LUCENT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997 12:30:11 +0000

Rikki Nyman wrote:

> How are style guides used at your company? Ours falls under the
> draconian "you must do it this way" approach -- the result is a fair
> number of writers and editors who deliberately (and defiantly) do what
> ever they think is appropriate. Do you use a guide as a basic direction
> or is it cast in stone?

Well, I am currently doing whatever I want, but it's OK because
nobody here has done what I'm doing before. (Which is part of my
point--a stricter set of rules might require me to spooge my
material into a completely inappropriate format.)

Actually, I have been in many situations over the past ten years.

Some companies have no style guides at all, some have a sort of
nebulous "make this look kinda like this" direction, all the way to
something along the lines of a government style, which dictates what
information each paragraph of a manual must contain (most corporate
requirements documents look like this, too).

Different people are comfortable with different levels of direction
as far as style guides go. I like a style guide that lets me use some
degree of judgement over how I present different types of
information. Some people don't want to bother with that, and just
want the rules. That is why I think it's an important question to ask.

Lisa Higgins.

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