Re: Using Contractions in Software Manuals

Subject: Re: Using Contractions in Software Manuals
From: Denise Fritch <dfritch -at- INTELLICORP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:04:56 -0700

Hi Victor,

> I write for a company that produces accounting software. Our
> manager thinks that we should avoid contractions, but the writers beg to
differ.

<large snip>

> Any comments, suggestions? What is the general consensus on usage of
> contractions in software manuals?

I don't use contractions in documentation -- paper or WinHelp -- that I
write for release. Why? Well, I view a contraction as, if you will, a
"written slang" of the American version of the English language. I know that
what I write will be translated into German, French, and Spanish. Why would
I wish to make a translator's work more difficult when converting my written
information to another language by using slang?

Best,

Denise L. Fritch
Sr. Tech Writer
IntelliCorp, Inc.
Mountain View, CA


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