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.Patricia Kim <pkim -at- BLACKSMITH -dot- COM> wrote:
I am new to the list, and fairly new to the technical writing field. I
have a question regarding the correct hyphenation and capitalization of
the phrase "what-if scenario". I have seen it used in several different
ways in the software requirements document I'm working on (e.g.,
with/without hyphen, with/without quotation marks, initial caps, no
caps, leaving out the word "scenario", etc.).
A lot of these possibilities come down to personal preference.
However, I suggest:
* A hyphen makes the meaning clear at a glance.
* Quotation marks are irrelevant. In this case, the quotation marks
either suggest that you're using a cliche or that you're using the
word inexactly. If you're going to use a cliche, why call attention
to it? Similarly, if the word is used inexactly, by the final draft
you should replace it with a more exact one.
* Initial caps makes no sense except, perhaps, in a title.
* "Scenario" makes the meaning clear.
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
(604) 421-7189 or (604) 687-2133, ext. 269
"What're you going to do about this heart of stone
That twists your mind and bends your bones,
What're you going to do about this bad old heart of stone?"