Re: Future Tense Controversy

Subject: Re: Future Tense Controversy
From: kelley -at- pulpculture -dot- org
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 12:14:34 -0500

At 07:04 AM 3/12/2004, Dick Margulis wrote:

On policies and procedures, though, the lawyers have a stake. There is case law. There are legal exposures. And the lawyers, not the users, not your fellow employees, are the customers for these documents. It matters less whether a policy is written in a user-friendly way than that it stand up in court. So follow the lawyers' guidance on these documents if the reasons they give you are legal reasons.

I absolutely agree with you about this, that they're using the imperative mood, and that even if it's something else, it's not worth the trouble. Nearly everything I write has to be approved by a client's legal department. I learned long ago to drop the ego at the door because I don't care for the wall head 'doo I end up with after repeatedly smacking my head on brick and mortar.

To tie this in to SOX, one of the requirements for SOX is that everyone in the company _must_ (heh) understand policies and procedures. No use having policies and procedures if no one understands them. Tech writers to the rescue! So, to be effective and thus meet regulatory guidelines, using clear language is imperative.

The imperative mood is very straightforward; there's little room for doubt, even though the bare imperative is sometimes perceived as too strong and impolite. Still, I don't think lawyers care about being perceived as impolite. They're used to writing contracts that are really instructions as to what _will_ be done to fulfill a contract to which disputants _must_ agree!

Are employees expected to sign these policies by any chance?



ROBOHELP FOR FRAMEMAKER AS LOW AS $299! Offer expires March 31.
Publish your FrameMaker documents online -- quickly and easily!
New licenses are only $899 for one and $499 for additional licenses.
Use a competitor's product? Switch to RoboHelp for FrameMaker
for only $299! Buy today: CALL 1-800-462-4420 or 1 858-847-7900.
Hurry, offer expires March 31 2004.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Re: Future Tense Controversy: From: Dick Margulis

Previous by Author: Rational RequisitePro and document/content management
Next by Author: Converting .DOCs to PPTs
Previous by Thread: Re: Future Tense Controversy
Next by Thread: Re: Future Tense Controversy

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads