content vs. style

Subject: content vs. style
From: Thom Remington <remingtf -at- ENGG-MAIL -dot- LVS -dot- DUPONT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 1997 08:50:39 -0500

A recent post argued that technical content must take precendence over
style. After all, we're technical writers, not poets. Well.....

I agree, but I think that you have to be very careful. Any time that writing
style gets in the way, it becomes a problem. When you have to read a
sentence twice (or more!) to understand it, you lose focus. When the writing
style is hard to get through, the reader is likely to start to focus on the
writing, not on the content.

As an example, I submit the following. I'll confess that I wrote it, but my
intent was to write an example of the language "bureacratese."

------------

The diurnal introduction into the alimentary system of a single example of
any of a variety of species of pomes has been determined to have an
ameliorative effect for the dread felt by iatrophobes, by rendering the
necessity of the presence of the object of such iatrophobia that much less
likely.

------------

Translation available on request.

Thom
thomas -dot- f -dot- remington -at- usa -dot- dupont -dot- com
Speaking for myself.

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