ADMIN RANT: Appropriateness and Wasting Time

Subject: ADMIN RANT: Appropriateness and Wasting Time
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 14:27:01 -0700

Someone just asked:
>Can anyone give me the basic rules on when to use whom instead of who?

Three points here:

First, a far better resource to learn something
like this is to consult a basic grammar book. As a technical writer,
it's important to know which sources to use for what, and
this list isn't particularly good for basic grammar rules.
It's good for variably well-formed opinions about generally
more-or-less accurately remembered grammar rules, but
for the rules themselves, you should probably
consult a reliable resource.

Second, this query is NOT a specifically technical communication
related question--it'd be equally at home in a 10th grade
English classroom, or on an English grammar list, or on any
other list vaguely connected to English use. For that reason,
it's not appropriate fodder for discussion on techwr-l.

(For those of you who weren't around the last time this
came up, if it's about grammar or language use in the
specific context of technical communication and that context
is clear, it's fine. Otherwise, (as in this case) it's just a
grammar question, so take it to an appropriate resource.)

Third, please DO NOT waste the time of all 3400+ subscribers
and 4000+ readers with questions that _should_ be answered
elsewhere. This includes questions about
* basic grammar rules (see a book),
* "Someone posted XXX but I lost the post,
could someone send it to me" (so search
the archives using the addresses in EVERY message
* where's Plano, Tx (consult an atlas),
* "I'm sure this has been discussed before, but ... "
(so check the archives first and ask pointed
followup questions),
or similar questions.

I'm not deliberately picking on the person who asked the
question--that's just the message that happened to push
me over the edge.

Respond off list,

* Eric J. Ray, ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com,
* TECHWR-L Listowner, co-author _Mastering HTML 4.0_
* _HTML 4 for Dummies Quick Reference_, and others.
* RayComm, Inc., currently accepting contract inquiries.

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