Re: grammar survey - recap

Subject: Re: grammar survey - recap
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- MARVIN -dot- ENG -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 16:16:01 -0700

Chris Knight wrote:
> One more thought: Whenever we say "If blah-blah-blah", we ought to also
> say what to do if the condition ISN'T true. The human mind wants to know
> what the alternative is, and so, if that info isn't there the reader
> will experience (subconsciously in most cases) some cognitive
> dissonance. Of course, using "When..." avoids this problem.

Good point: I'm always trying to impress upon my writers the importance
of writing steps so that the alternative is clearly indicated. I've
seen some manuscripts where the writer presents branching steps as two
separate steps. (4. To accept the default values, press Return. 5. To
enter your own values, type them into the fields.) I've seen others
where the alternative was presented underneath the bold step, which I
think is way too late -- the reader has probably obediently done the
action in the step without realizing there was a choice of things to

-- Janice

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with this
janice -dot- gelb -at- eng -dot- sun -dot- com | message is the return address.

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