Windows open

Subject: Windows open
From: kenfry <kenfry -at- QUICK -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 08:33:24 -0700

I've been reading and writing technical materials for over 35 years. One of
the reasons I began writing was the difficulty I had understanding poorly
written material. The other writers are correct about transitive verbs,
windows opening or appearing and such.

Consider the function of technical communication - to convey ideas to the
reader. When the language calls attention to itself (through inappropriate
structure, for example a transitive verb with no object) the reader is
thrown into a quandry. Their attention goes from the material to the
structure. This is a terrible thing to do to your reader. Writing should be
transparent, a vehicle only. To draw attention to itself is a disservice to
the reader. Rules of grammar are learned early and not easily forgotten.

The use of nonsence language has a place in Zen with their "What was your
face before your parents were born?" However, we strive not to put our
readers into a trance. At least not that kind.

I care little what some dunderhead put in a "good" dictionary. The five I
have must all be "bad" dictionaries. I submit that the measure of a good
dictionary is its rejection of such absurdities as the use of "displays"
without an object.

What evidence is there that this is "accepted?" I see none. I have only
encountered this usage in the last few weeks and only in a manual I had to
revise extensively, largely due to poor grammar.

True, English is a living language, but occasionally it has these little
cancers that must be excised lest they compromise the integrity of the

When you write, consider the reader, not your own trendiness.


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

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