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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.