Re: Style Manuals

Subject: Re: Style Manuals
From: "Barbara A. Tokay" <batokay -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 13:38:35 -0500

John Posada wrote:

> > >If you think it changes very little and very slowly, hang out at a bar
> > >in the middle of Silicon Valley on a Friday night when most of our
> > >audience is handing together. I did when I lived in CA and worked in the
> > >Bay area. You would think you came from another country...and we are
> > >writing for them. Pick up a copy of Wired. It is VERY different, yet
> > >just as valid and credible to its intended audience as something from
> > >STC is to us

You obviously believe that only "with-it, happening" folks know anything about the way
the world operates. I can tell you that this point of view changes radically once your
children are old enough to put you in your proper place (with the old guys).

I believe you miss an important difference between "trendy" communications and clear,
concise writing--the first ages rapidly and the second doesn't.

I would bet that your audience is not composed of 20-somethings who read WIRED. It is
most probably made up of tired, middle-aged people who are trying to figure out how to
use poorly designed Microstuft-based software that is supposed to make their jobs
(lives) easier...

Your audience probably doesn't care if they are looking at a Message Box or a Dialog
Box--they do care about having clear, step-by-step instructions that enable them to
get on with their real work.

Of course, it is self-preserving to worship at the altar of high-tekkies. Without
these paragons, there would be no inadequate software that required explanation by
technical writers!

> --
> John Posada, Technical Writer
> Bellcore, where Customer Satisfaction is our number one priority
> mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com mailto:jposada -at- notes -dot- cc -dot- bellcore -dot- com
> phone(w) 732-699-3077 phone(h) 732-2910-7811
> alpha-pager: 800-864-8444 pin 1857522
> email pager: mailto:1857522 -at- pagemart -dot- net
> My opinions are mine, and neither you nor my company can take credit for
> them.
> "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish,
> and he will sit in a boat and smoke cigars all day."
> "The only perfect document I ever created is still on my hard drive."
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000==

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

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