Re: This page blank...

Subject: Re: This page blank...
From: Roger Mallett <roger -at- CSICAL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 09:04:50 -0700

"I would hope that the literacy level of users has risen since then . .
. "

(Note, I mean the following to apply only to techie type manuals
delivered by a vendor. I do not mean it to apply to books (techie or
otherwise) that I might pick up at a book store.)

I do not think it is a case of literacy. It seems to me to be an
exclamation to the user that there is no need to be concerned about info
that may have dropped into the abyss.

Even pages that have headers/footers, etc., are not enough for me to be
convinced that data did not drop off. I have seen such things happen
many times through the years.

When I see a blank page, I have to spend time thinking about the format
of the book, the text at the bottom of the previous page, etc., just to
figure out whether or not the blank page was on purpose. (And remember,
Time translates to $$.)

I very strongly side with L.H. Garlinghouse's opinion (and with others
who have written similar messages).

Our written product, our Communication, goes beyond the actual words,
figures, etc., used to describe what we set out to document. L.H.
pointed to a perfect, and I feel frequent, example of why communication
must be clear.

While I muse at the statement "This page left intentionally blank" I
have used it for years and will continue to do so. As pointed out by
L.H., the potential/real $$ costs of not doing can be staggering.

>From: Wendy Putman[SMTP:wputman -at- CASTLETON -dot- COM]
>Sent: Thursday, April 30, 1998 8:29 AM
>Subject: Re: This page blank...
>About 10 years ago, the tech writers in my workplace had the debate
>about whether or not to put the statement on our pages, as our customer
>support line got a significant number of calls from customers who
>claimed they got a defective manual because some of the pages were
>blank. At the time, I believe we opted for putting headers and footers
>on the page so end users wouldn't think this was a printing error. I
>would hope that the literacy level of users has risen since then, but
>the computer humor that goes around the net (people who call the
>line because their computers won't work -- because they neglected to
>turn it on, etc.) would indicate otherwise. If your end users are
>"regular folk", sometimes known as the ""general public" or great
>unwashed", I'd caution you to weigh your options carefully.
>Wendy Putman, Technical Writer
>Castleton Network Systems, Burnaby, BC
>Tel: (604) 293-0039 / Internal: 722-5432
>Email: wputman -at- castleton -dot- com
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Lisa Comeau [SMTP:COMEAUL -at- CSA -dot- CA]
>> Sent: Thursday, April 30, 1998 7:15 AM
>> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>> Subject: Re: This page blank...
>> If the reason for leaving the page blank is so that the reader can
>> make
>> notes, why not simply put the word "notes" on the top of the page? If
>> it is
>> for another (legitimate) reason, why not just say so on the page? (I'm
>> confused...)
>> Lisa Comeau
>> IS Super-User/Trainer
>> Certification & Testing Division
>> Canadian Standards Association
>> Etobicoke, ONTARIO
>> comeaul -at- csa -dot- ca
>> (416) 747 2597
>> "A mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially on a waste of time."
>> &^~~~
>> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
>> Find contractor info at
>Find contractor info at

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