RE: Numbering Steps for Multiple Paths

Subject: RE: Numbering Steps for Multiple Paths
From: "Doctor Heart" <lonestar -at- nesma -dot- net -dot- sa>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 08:09:42 +0300

Jim wrote:
"...Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications: Single-step
procedures. Most designs have a single-step bullet to mark a single-step
procedure. Each design specifies the type of single-step bullet. Never
number a single-step procedure as '1.'"

David wrote in reply:

Oh-oh. My apologies. I guess my logic is wrong. My perceptions are wrong.
My experience is wrong. My judgement is wrong. My co-workers, who have
discussed this and reached the same consensus, are wrong (and must be
idiots). Microsoft is God. God has spoken ;-)

-- the difference between Good and Evil: --
-- Evil always hires the crummy engineers. --

In dealing with this, I once taught that no style manual came down from the
mount with Moses. Some of the petty differences between style manuals can be
irksome to those who seek 'sound advice', which I ultimately see a style
manual doing. Yes, I understand that a style manual helps arbitrate
disagreements between writers, helps create a consistent use of the language
in documentation, is the standard that editors apply to their task of
editing drafts, etc. But there is a point that ya gotta say, I can exercise
my own responsible, experienced, capable, seasoned, creative, professional
judgment on a matter of style and, as David suggests, come to a consensus on
style with my Peers. Style manuals are judgments, established like law, and
you can't discuss these matters them.

Regarding David's remark about MS being [is] God on the subject of style.
I'll share my considered attitude on this point, too:

In controversial moments
My judgments rather fine
I always see both points of view
The one that's wrong and mine ..

This is what I think, on occasion, about MS Style, Chicago Style, New



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