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Subject:Re: negative language in warnings: From:Joanne Greene <joanne -dot- greene -at- JACOBUS -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 19 May 1997 11:41:10 -0400
I have a question about the use of negative language in text, particularly
warnings, cautions, etc.
I attempt to revise sentences so they are positive statements because the
human subconsious supposedly ignores negatives. I've noticed this tendency
in myself once; when very busy I omitted the word "not" from my memory of
the hardware requirements for a certain product which resulted in a lot of
phone support time for me when working from home.
Because of the reason for warnings, it's important to communicate accurately
and for the reader to remember the warning accurately. However, it is
extremely difficult to recast warnings into concise positive sentences. Does
anyone else edit out negative language in the main text and think it is
something to be concerned about in the text of warnings and alerts?