If the manual is for a British audience, I'd be careful about changing the tone 
too much - you may offend someone with your abruptness!
Fortunately we have some authentic British writers on this list who may be able 
to say if such language is considered normal for that audience. 
I'd love to know, because my docs are read by British customers...


From: framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com on behalf of Flato, Gillian
Sent: Thu 8/27/2009 11:09 PM
To: framers at frameusers.com
Subject: Why do British Tech Writers pontificate

We are going through the grueling task of editing some manuals written
by British Tech writers. It's quite painful. Why, oh why, do British
Tech Writers pontificate so much? Do they know the definition of the
word concise? Do they just like to hear themselves talk?

Additionally, are they paid by the freakin' word? I have never seen such
excessive use of as many words as possible. It's ridiculous. Didn't
anyone ever tell them that when you translate a manual you actually do
pay by the word so being concise is actually important!

Part of that old British politeness comes through. They are so scared of
offending anyone that they are afraid of giving an imperative in a
manual. It's full of, "if you wish" "if you would like" "if you would be
so kind as to" "if it's not to much trouble than" Give me a freakin'
break. Tell the User what to do to accomplish the task and stop
pontificating. It's not about you!

<Thanks for letting me rant. I am tired of this manual. It's due
tomorrow and I am behind schedule.>

Thank you,

Gillian Flato

Technical Writer (Software)


1550 Buckeye Dr.

Milpitas, CA. 95035


7  408.232.5911

* gflato at nanometrics.com <mailto:gflato at nanometrics.com>


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