re flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos

Subject: re flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos
From: "nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il" <nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 03:58:06 -0500

> These two have evolved many bad habits that they cling to
> stubbornly, such as being overly wordy; using awkward sentence
> constructions full of "for which"s, "therefore"s, etc; being
> overly repetitious and/or redundant in language usage (ie. Use
> the Configurator to configure configurations," or "The Name text
> box enables you to enter a name"), writing 10-word titles, etc.

Is that many bad habits, or one bad habit? To me, it all
looks like a lack of conciseness. Sometimes the house rules
make such writing almost inescapable. (If you are required
to provide a stand-alone explanation of the Name text box,
what can you write that does not sound stupid?)

If conciseness is indeed the major issue, I would favor
explaining the principle, providing examples (not from
the writers' own work), checking whether there isn't a
structural problem with the house style, and taking a gradual
approach. It is, after all, a matter of elegance and
comparative clarity rather than of grammatical correctness.
(If grammar indeed is an issue here and there, be gentle
to the writers; and to the errors, merciless...)

Mark L. Levinson
Herzliya, Israel
nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il

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