Re: What is wrong with white space? (long list of references)

Subject: Re: What is wrong with white space? (long list of references)
From: Diane Williams <diane_williams -at- YAHOO -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 08:13:40 -0700

Bev Lockhart, Documentation Editor, said:
>>"They changed the rules in between the time I was a newspaper editor
and became a technical editor. White space USED to be considered a good
thing. Who are the doc design gurus, and how did they decide upon 'the

FYI: Here's the reference list for my master's thesis on Plain English
for US Gov't documents. Plain English principles include using white
space to enhance readability. Note the books by Felker, Flesch,
Shriver, and Parker which include tons of references to studies on
readabilty and comprehension.

Baker, Sheridan. The Complete Stylist. New York: Crowell, 1966.

Brusaw, Charles T., Gerald J. Alred, and Walter E. Oliu. Handbook of
Technical Writing. 5th ed. New York: St. Martin?s P, 1998.

Chicago Manual of Style. 14th ed. Chicago: U Chicago P, 1993.
???. 13th ed. Chicago: U Chicago P, 1982.

Dorney, Jacqueline M. "The Plain English Movement" ERIC Digest
ED284273 87. Urbana, IL: Educational Resources Information Center
Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skills, 1996.
< English/Introduction/index.html>

Eagleson, Robert D. "What Lawyers Need to Know About Plain Language."
The Michigan Bar Journal. 73.1 (Jan. 1994).

Felker, Daniel B., et al. Guidelines for Document Designers.
Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research, 1981.

Flesch, Rudolf Franz. How to Write Plain English: A Book for Lawyers
and Consumers. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.

Garner, Bryan A. A Dictionary of Modern American Usage. New York:
Oxford UP, 1998.

???. The Elements of Legal Style. New York: Oxford UP, 1991.

Hodges? Harbrace Handbook. 13th ed. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt, 1998.

Houp, Kenneth W., Thomas E. Pearsall, and Elizabeth Tebeaux. Reporting
Technical Information. 8th ed. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon,

Kimble, Joseph. "Answering the Critics of Plain Language" The Scribes
Journal of Legal Writing vol. 6 (1996?1997).
< Kimble2.htm
???. "Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please" The Scribes Journal of
Legal Writing vol. 5 (1994?1995).

Kilpatrick, James J. Fine Print: Reflections on the Writing Art. Kansas
City, MO: Andrews & McMeel, 1993.
???. The Writer?s Art. Kansas City, MO: Andrews & McMeel, 1984.

Mellinkoff, David. The Language of the Law. Boston: Little, Brown,
???. Legal Writing: Sense and Nonsense. St. Paul, MN: West, 1982.

The New York Public Library Writer?s Guide to Style and Usage. New
York: HarperCollins, 1994.

Parker, Roger C. Looking Good in Print. Research Triangle Park, NC:
Ventana, 1997.

Pocket Pal. 17th ed. Memphis, TN: International Paper, 1997.

Ross-Larson, Bruce. Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with
Words. New York: Norton, 1982.

Sabin, William A. The Gregg Reference Manual. 8th ed. New York:
McGraw-Hill, 1996.

Schriver, Karen A. Dynamics in Document Design. New York: Wiley, 1997.

Shelton, James H. Handbook for Technical Writing. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC
Pub. Group, 1994.

Stephens, Cheryl M. "Remarks delivered to the Canadian Bar Association,
Wills and Estates Section," Vancouver, British Columbia on November 27,
1990. <>

Strunk, W. and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. New York: MacMillan,

Troyka, Lynn Quitman. Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers. 4th ed.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996.

U.S. Government Printing Office. Style Manual. Washington: GPO, 1984.

U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. A Plain English Handbook: How to
create clear SEC disclosure documents. Washington: SEC, 1998.

van der Waarde, Karel. "Typographic Dimensions and Conventional Wisdom:
A Discrepancy?" Technical Communication 46.1 (Feb 1999) 67?74.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. "Gobbledygook"
Department of English website.
< Gobbled.html>

Williams, Joseph M. Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. Chicago: U Chicago
P, 1990.

Wilson, Kenneth G. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. New
York: Columbia UP, 1993.

Wydick, Richard C. Plain English For Lawyers. 4th ed. Durham, NC:
Carolina Acad. P, 1998.

Other Online Plain English References:

American Bar Association: Annotated Online Writing Resources:
Has links to online style manuals, dictionaries, grammar authorities,
and miscellaneous references to aid in legal writing

Michigan Causes of Action Formbook review: reviews/96-022r1.htm
Michigan Bar Association requires its members to use plain language in
its proceedings and documents.

Plain English home page:
Plain English and services from the Word Centre. Document editing and
training in effective writing.

Plain Language Action Network (PLAN):
U.S. Presidential directive on how to write and rewrite federal
regulations and other U.S. federal documents including correspondence,
applications, and forms. Links to several U.S. agency sites with
examples of plain language editing.

Plain Language.Com:
A site maintained by Plain Language Partners Ltd., Vancouver, B.C.

Plain Language Online:

Society for Technical Communication:
Various regional offerings under the main page feature articles on
writing and editing.

USA-wide law pages:
Maintained by Carol A. Wilson (
World Wide Legal Information Association:
Maintained by Carol A. Wilson (

~~Diane Williams
OAO Corporation
Information Technology Documentation & Training Coordinator
(That's what my business card says!)
(703) 305-2973
USDA Food & Nutrition Services

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