Retentive on Friday

Subject: Retentive on Friday
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 12:52:22 -0500

Hallo:

As I reviewed a colleague's work, today, with the old red pen, it occurred
to me what a "particular" (some do say "retentive") writer I have become.

I use rank, instead of prioritize.
I use use, instead of utilize (unless I am using a tool for something other
than its intended purpose)
I use click, instead of click on.
I use articles, instead of not using them.
I use commas before which.
I try for short sentences.
My callouts tend not to duplicate body text.
Each heading is followed by an introduction (maybe brief) before launching
into any procedure.
I strive mightily to fit new information to my existing document styles,
rather than creating new document styles to accommodate new information.
I use the conditional tense when needed (though, I admit, I don't correct a
lack of the conditional when I see it in the writings of others).
. .

There are varying degrees to this, I admit. What happened? Is what happened
bad? Should I have such structured thoughts about how my technical documents
should be written? Do we all end up down that path . . . or am I an annoying
minority. I admit, my writing was not so structured 10 years ago . . . but
has been for the past five or six.

Am I an old fart? I expect my colleague is constructing the noose and Sean
doll as I send this.

How are you techwrlers evolving and issit into the same kind of troll?
Should I swing by the STC annual conference to broaden my scope, or am I
probably too pompous for that event?

All the best and have a good weekend?

Sean
sean -at- quodata -dot- com




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