Re: Humor in Technical Documents

Subject: Re: Humor in Technical Documents
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 09:46:56 -0400

> From: Jack Bybee [mailto:editor -at- viconet -dot- com]

> One word of advice about humour in technical matter - like driving in
> New York City - "DON'T"
> Ahmen.

Perhaps it would be better to use a few more words:
"Don't unless it works with the image the client company is trying to
project and the target audience."

> Dummies books? "Don't" (again). They are an insult to the intelligence
> of the reader.

Many readers (myself included) do not consider them insulting. But then, the
ones I am reading at the moment involve a certain irony, as the topics are
quite technical. They are within my abilities, but far outside my current
expertise. Fine. When it comes to working with the internals of operating
systems newer than DOS 3, I'm a dummy. A mere power user of the front end.
Things have changed since I knew MP/M upside down and backwards.
The fact that the authors have permission to insult my intelligence means
that they can present very basic information of which I am ignorant. One of
the books is on the Linux operating system. It describes (among other
things) how to find and use the IRQ settings for various devices. Anybody
doing OS work should know this stuff. I used to, but I haven't kept up on
it. The information is far too basic for an OS manual to get into. Serious
OS books tell you to use the IRQ in various places, but they assume you know
what that number is.
The humor helps quite a bit, because I am studying on my own, outside of my
current work. I can give up at any time, without consequences. The
occasional chuckle helps keep me going a little longer each session than I
might otherwise, and that could make all the difference.

mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com
nax -at- execpc -dot- com

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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