Re: Using capital letters

Subject: Re: Using capital letters
From: Tim Covil <covil_t -at- WIZTEC-USA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 1997 12:56:19 -0400

Many tech writers have a tendency to go overboard with capitalization.
They think it makes whatever they're referencing sound Very Important. I
used to do it a lot.

I write manuals for billing/customer care software. We've established
our own guidelines for capitalizing various elements and documented them
in a style guide, with a number of relevant examples.

There isn't some definitive style guide that applies to all, so you need
to decide what makes sense for the kind of applications you're writing
about. If you're the senior person and this new person reports to you, I
recommend that you write a specific style guide that will give him/her
direction. You set the rules if you're in a position to do so. If not,
you guys will just have to come to an agreement on one style and go with
it.

>----------
>From: Jennifer O'Neill[SMTP:jennyon -at- ARITECH -dot- COM]
>Sent: Friday, August 08, 1997 1:12 PM
>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>Subject: Using capital letters
>
> A question for the weekend.
>
>A tech writer who recently joined my company uses capital letters in
>a way I can't quite follow and am not very keen about. She just
>handed in a manual with sentences like:
>
>The Red LED on the Alarm Panel will be lit.
>
>or
>
>The Display scrolls through the options.
>
>When I asked her about it she said that these were key words.
> I can't see what benefit it is the the user
>to have 'red', display or 'alarm panel' et al written like that. I have to
>try
>to get everyone writing in the same style and as most manuals are
>written by engineers feel I'm asking for problems to tell them to
>write the first letter of key words with a capital letter. Then it
>all gets translated into 8 languages, with their associated usages of
>capital letters. And what may only be one word in English can become
>a few in another language. I want a simple life.
>
>What do others think?
>
>Jennifer
>
> TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
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>

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
to LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU (e.g. HELP or SIGNOFF TECHWR-L).
Search the archives at http://www.documentation.com/ or search and
browse the archives at http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html


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