Re: Using Contractions in Software Manuals

Subject: Re: Using Contractions in Software Manuals
From: Michele Marques <mmarques -at- CMS400 -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 10:10:52 -0400

I use contractions lightly in manuals. My choice varies with my
desired emphasis and tone. For example, if I am describing
something fairly obvious (to cover those who don't find it obvious),
and with small effects, I will probably use a contraction, as in:

You can't type beyond the length of the field. The system will
beep and freeze until you press the "Alt" key.

On the other hand, if I am trying to emphasize something that is
less obvious, and with larger effects, I will not use a contraction, as
in:

Do not enter a part in the purchased part file, unless you do not
plan to manufacture it. You cannot copy parts from the purchased
part file to the manufactured part file.



----------------------------------------------
Michele Marques
Technical Writer, CMS Manufacturing
mmarques -at- cms400 -dot- com
905-477-4499 x280


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