Humor in Technical Documents

Subject: Humor in Technical Documents
From: Kristen Beer <kris -dot- beer -at- ARKONA -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 12:23:27 -0600

Although my title may connote more, I am really the ONLY writer/trainer at a small startup software company. As such, one of my many responsibilities is to implement some type of corporate standards for all written materials. This translates not only into developing and/or refining templates, but also into designing a style guide for nonwriters.  Because nonwriters will probably not pour over a style guide just for fun, I'd like to make it fun (at least as fun as guidelines for grammar, punctuation, formatting, etc. CAN be). I'm thinking along the lines of Robin Cook's The Nondesigners Design Book, which I consider a piece of work.

In general, I would like to see more humor used for all types of technical materials even though I realize it can be disastrous (one person's ha ha is another person's groan kind of thing). If anyone has written, has wanted to write, or has read any technical document that has even a smidgeon of humor in it, whether style guide, user guide, training courseware, etc., could you pass along your views, ideas, sources, anything relevant?

Kris Beer
(btw--a last name that generates abundant humor in Utah!)

--------------- "Enabling the Extended Enterprise" -------------
Kris Beer                                                Arkona
Manager Technical Communications   4505 Wasatch Blvd, Suite 340
Phone +1 801 424-0044 x30              Salt Lake City, UT 84124
kris -dot- beer -at- arkona -dot- com                   

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