TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Style Manuals From:Marsha Kamish <MKamish -at- STEWART -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 3 Feb 1999 09:11:29 -0600
As far as I know, there is no law that says we have to use the MS Manual of
Style. All some of us are trying to say is:
Our audience (like it or not) uses Microsoft programs. They (mostly) have
only used Microsoft programs. They understand what a dialog box is. Why
should we impose our vocabulary on them just when they feel they're starting
to get a handle on this whole PC thing? We're just trying to help our
audience understand our writing. Isn't that what it's all about?
I have nothing for or against Microsoft. In my mind, they've helped to
promote the use of the computer in everyday life and I think that's a good
thing. But if my department decided to change to FrameMaker tomorrow, I'd
go along without any moaning and groaning.
Why are you so strident about this? There is no principle involved here
except to know your audience.
Marsha G. Kamish
Landata Systems, Inc.
mkamish -at- stewart -dot- com
The opinions expressed are mine and not necessarily representative of
Landata Systems, Inc.
See, this proves my point in how Microsoft really believes they now control
manuals as well. First, this seems unethical. (I want to say illegal, but
too strong a word although it feels like it's more appropriate.) Can
really determine the language and terminology used because they've made the
program? And, if they can, then maybe they should just have their technical
writers come up with some generic documentation and everyone who's getting a
Microsoft Certified software program can sack their technical writers. I
sorry for the end users who are going to be using the GUI and stumble on
language because it's now Microsoft-speak...how Big Brother of them!!
I forgot to mention Strunk and White's Elements of Style. Ah to remember
good old days when we used to be writers and trusted to write!
>I am preparing a proposal for Microsoft, and from informal talks with
>Microsofties, it is clear that if you want a Microsoft Certified software
>program (so the logo can be carried on the package), you better follow as
>many ofd their guidelines as possible. Especially when it comes to the GUI
>used in the application.
>I still prefer the Chicago Manual Of Style.
>>Has everyone out there lost there minds!! Does anyone remember when REAL
guides were used (Chicago Manual of Style, etc.)? I hate to remind
but the Microsoft Manual of Style is nothing more than a style manual taken
an in-house technical writing department that was published because that
in-house technical writing department happens to be MICROSOFT!!