Re: Humor in Technical Documents

Subject: Re: Humor in Technical Documents
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- SOUNDY -dot- ML -dot- ORG>
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 02:44:22 -0800

On Wed, 23 Sep 1998 12:23:27 -0600, Kristen Beer wrote:

>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?

I haven't seen a lot of "...for Dummies" books, but the one I do own,
"Networking for Dummies", is chock-full of funnies, belly-groans, tricky puns
and such, and all very well done.

A couple examples:

In the chapter, "Netware Commands You'll Use", some commands include a "BS"
section, basically little extra tidbits about the command. Well, usually
anyway. One command listed is:

What it does: Enables you to down the server by clapping
your hands loudly once or twice.

Syntax: CLAP ON [1|2]

Who can use it: Console Operators

BS: Yes.

In another chapter, listing "Ten Layers of the OSI Model" (some pretty
dry-sounding in-depth stuff), one of the layers listed is:

Layer 4a: The Lemon-Pudding Layer
The lemon-pudding layer is squeezed in between the rather
dry and tasteless transport and session layers to add
flavor and moisture.

And of course, they have the "Ten Networking Commandments", including:

II. Thou shalt not drop thy guard against the unholy viri

and, X. Thou shalt write down thy network configuration
upon tablets of stone.

All-in-all, a nicely-done example of folding a little humor into a technical
book to keep things interesting and "moist" (as opposed to dry :)

Your friend and mine,
<All standard disclaimers apply>
"Reality is in alpha test on protoype hardware."

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