Re: Is use of "(s)" allowed?

Subject: Re: Is use of "(s)" allowed?
From: Mona Albano <Mona -dot- Albano -at- PROMIS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 14:21:21 -0600

Michael Graham <graham -at- PEAKS -dot- ENET -dot- DEC -dot- COM>
"The host computer will move the data from the cache module to the proper

Question: is it proper to use (s)? If not, what are other structures seem

You can say "to a drive or drives," which at least avoids the parentheses.
Techies are likely to think that "drives" excludes "drive," since they tend
to assume an exclusive or. (That leads to the spread of "and/or" even
though "or" includes "and." You could use "one or more drives," but it
sounds over-precise.

I would drop "proper." It's one of those motherhood adjectives put
in like legalese for insurance, but where the converse is absurd. If
the host computer is going to move the data to an improper drive,
that's out of the scope of a simple description of how the system works
on a good day.

I would probably drop "will" as well. My descriptions occur in
an eternal present with everything going right on the first pass. That is,
"the system does blah" not "the system will attempt to do blah."
It's grammatically simpler.

Mona Albano, tech writer & editor
mona -dot- albano -at- promis -dot- com (til Oct. 3)

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Re: Marketing vs. Engineering
Next by Author: Who should pay for career development? -Reply
Previous by Thread: Re: Is use of "(s)" allowed?
Next by Thread: HTML Tag Definition

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads