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As a reader of a user's guide, I think that I'd find "etc." annoying since I'd read a user's guide for concrete and specific information.
The trend in composition theory, as S&W indicate, is to avoid it since it adds little or nothing to meaning.
As a composition instructor, I found "etc." indicative of the gross ignorance; student's who used it in their essays almost invariably did so because they couldn't think of the information that they really needed.
"Etc." is lazy, expedient, or both, but in any case, it serves the writer, not the reader.
From: Kevin_Feeman [SMTP:Kevin_Feeman -at- HILL-ROM -dot- COM]
Sent: Monday, February 22, 1999 8:40 AM
To: TECHWR-L; LCPORREL
Is it appropriate to use etc. in technical documentation? If not, why? Any
input is appreciated.