Three (basic?) style questions

Subject: Three (basic?) style questions
From: Yosuke Ichikawa <ichikawayosuke -at- obun -dot- co -dot- jp>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 11:55:18 +0900

These are three, perhaps basic, style-related questions coming from a non-native English writer that are probably easy for you trained native writers.

1) Capitalization in cross references.
The manual I'm working on uses full caps for section titles, header level 1 and 2. When such titles or headers are cross-referenced, I used initial caps. For example, a header may read "BASIC OPERATION", while a reference to this heading would currently read; see "Basic Operation", page xx.
I felt the header written in all caps within the body text seemed too strong, emphasised unnecessarily , and consistently used initial caps for such cases in this manual. But I should have been more conscious about my choice and checked with my client first. Now my client wants me to change all such references to all caps, at a very late stage in the production process, and I want to avoid the change if I can (as this also affects 8 other translated languages, and we're not using automated cross references).

Is it incorrect style-wise to use initial caps to refer to full caps headers?

2) Reference to other subheads within the same page.
When refering to other subhead withing the same page, I write, for example; see "Basic Operation", below (or, above). This manual has two columns in a page, and the subhead refered to as "below" or "above" is often *physically* found to the right or left, and (you guessed it) my client suggests changing it to "right" or "left".
My presumtion was that when refering to other sections in writing, you can use "below" or "above" regardless of physical location.

Should I use "right" and "left" in such cases?

3) Bulleted list question.
Right now I have a passage like the following;
"Do so and so if;
・瘢雹 blah blah blah, or
・瘢雹 such and such."
My client doesn't like the ", or" after the "blah"s and wants me to change it to a full stop.
I would like to keep it if it's acceptable style-wise, since it's clearer that the two cases together cover all the cases to do "so and so", leaving no other case to do so.

It is incorrect style-wise to use a conjunction at the end of a bulleted list item to connect to another list item?

No, unfortunately neither my client nor my company has a clear style guide, and I'm pretty much on my own. When I have a style related problem, I consult The Chicago Manual of Style, but I wasn't able to find anything in this case. Please inform me if you can think of right off a book or a website discussing any of the style matters mentioned above (or, an example of such writing styles acutually being used, if any) so that I can show it to my client.

It frustrates me both that my client never brought these matters up at the first and second draft but on the third draft, *and* that I can't confidently say that I'm correct. My client is not at all an expert on English, but of course, I can't say that I am myselft, never having received formal education on writing style. Of course, I'm certainly willing to learn and change what is not correct. Hopefully, our client and I will settle this for good, and won't have similar problems in the future.

If you can help, I would appreciate it if you can reply (also) to my adress, as I'm on digest.
Thank you in advance for any help.

Yosuke Ichikawa
Obun Printing
ichikawayosuke -at- obun -dot- co -dot- jp

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