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Subject:Re: Use of "You" From:Mike Stockman <stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com> To:"Joanne Meehl" <Jmeehl -at- datum -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Mon, 29 Nov 1999 11:07:17 -0500
On 11/29/99 10:17 AM, Joanne Meehl (Jmeehl -at- datum -dot- com) wrote:
>Two of the instructors in my Tech Writing program at Northeastern Univ. say
>"NEVER use 'you' in technical documentation". They don't mean the writer
>should eliminate the implied "you", as in "Click the right mouse button".
>They just don't like the sound of "you"--they say it's too casual or
Some people have the opinion that technical writing should never appear
casual or familiar. As shown by the Dummies, Idiot, Bibles, and other
wildly successful and casually-written mass-market books, not all
Whether you use contractions, "you," humor, and other more casual
techniques depends on your organization's style, your personal
preference, and the results of some target-audience testing of your
documentation. Your instructor's opinion stopped being important when you
received your final grade.