Standard English vs "industry standard"

Subject: Standard English vs "industry standard"
From: Sarah Stegall <stegall -at- TERAYON -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 11:48:42 -0800

Anyone else have this problem? It comes up time
and time again while working with SMEs:

I edit a document and return it to the SME in
charge of it. My edits include such things as
proper sentence structure and syntax, spelling out
acronyms on first use, standardizing units of
measurement (dB for decibel rather than Db). He
returns it to me with some of the corrections
returned to their former status, and with new
non-standard entries, claiming that a) this is the
way it's done "in the industry" or b) "everyone
reading this will know it's done this way". My
claim that my edits are standard "industry" use of
English goes unheard. Worse, in emerging
technologies there are often no "industry
standards" to consult, such as IEEE's manual of
style; it comes down to a shouting match.

For the most part, the edits in question would not
be disputed by any competent writer; it's a matter
of someone covering his ignorance of proper usage
by claiming spurious "industry" examples. I have
had other technical manuals with egregious errors
used as justification for bizarre punctuation and
tortured syntax. Any thoughts? What's a nice,
non-controversial way of dealing with this issue?
Sarah Stegall || Senior Technical
Terayon Communication Systems ||
stegall -at- terayon -dot- com
2952 Bunker Hill Lane || voice
Santa Clara, CA 95054 || fax 408-727-6204

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