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On 12/15/99 5:11 AM, John -dot- Sheridan-Smith -at- bmwfin -dot- com
(John -dot- Sheridan-Smith -at- bmwfin -dot- com) wrote:
>Too much info can lead some readers (whose behaviou CAN be predicted by
>suitable analysis) to fail to read or absorb the RELEVANT info.
I disagree. Too much information can never "lead" readers to fail to
absorb relevant info; poorly organized and presented information may,
however, hide the important information while emphasizing the stuff you
"Suitable analysis" may tell you that a simple seven-procedure is more
accessible than a tightly-packed page of technobabble, but if you
organize the technobabble correctly, and rewrite it so it is presented
more clearly, I'd bet money that your "suitable analysis" will show that
it's just as accessible as the simple procedure.
Of course, that part takes a lot more effort and skill than simply
leaving information out.
>Also, there are many situations where the person paying the writer
>legitimately (but so what if it's illegitmately - he's paying) wants
>to restrict the amount of information given to specific groups of
>readers to prevent those readers from using the information to do things
>that the writer-payer does not want done.
Nobody anywhere in this thread has suggested ignoring the wishes of
clients, so your point here, while valid, has no relevance to the
theoretical discussion of whether to spend more time writing for an
audience vs. ensuring technical accuracy.
For the record, I come down squarely on the side of making wholly
accurate information accessible to anyone.