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Subject:Re: Is grammar important. From:Mark Dando <danmcc -at- OZEMAIL -dot- COM -dot- AU> Date:Fri, 22 May 1998 10:14:22 +1100
At 01:24 PM 5/21/98 -0500, M. David Orr wrote:
>As one who sees many user manuals and online help facilities in user tests,
>I think it's one of the least important elements of usability. Graphical
>mental models, organization, audience-targeting of mini-manuals, job task
>analysis, appropriate screen graphics, and good indexing are much more
>important. However, bad grammar can be distracting to some people, can cause
>misunderstanding, and create credibility issues. It's like wearing a power
>suit to a job interview, it doesn't really help doing a good interview, but
>it doesn't distract the interviewer either.
But what do you mean by grammar? I understood your message because you
constructed your sentences (grammatical construction) in a way that I could
understand, not because of any "graphical mental models, organization,
audience-targeting of mini-manuals, job task analysis, appropriate screen
graphics, and good indexing".
If you use language, grammar is of vital importance.
I'm currently helping to develop process writing skills in a large IT&T
organisation. Grammar is a key topic in the Effective Writing module, but I
focus on syntax not split infinitives.