TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Technical writing in a higher ed environment From:"Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Mon, 22 Mar 2004 09:39:11 -0800
"Al Geist" <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com> wrote in message news:232946 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> This is a classic argument between journalists and English majors. I
> have never found not using the serial comma to be a barrier to clear
> writing, nor have any of my editors. Since a number of the
> organizations that have used my services as a lone writer have also
> received excellent reviews of the documentation I've produced, I can
> only assume that the readers could care less about the lack of a serial
> comma and are happy with the clarity of the writing and overall
> Bonnie Granat wrote:
> >To me, AP's not using the serial comma is a serious deficit. It's a
> >barrier to clear writing, in my opinion.
But among the points of writing clean, comprehensive, concise, and complete
user assistance is to eliminate, as much as possible, both any ambiguity in
the content and any extra cognitive load on the user. What a serial comma
does is help ensure there is no ambiguity in a series.
This may not manifest itself is simple series, but it is made more clear in
compund series. Users (and possibly reviewers) who understand the difference
may notice its omission but consider it irrelevant. Users who don't
encounter it may find it adds to their cognitive load to make sure they
understand what it being presented.
I know this has been argued before, even here, but if the bottom line it to
make sure content is as clear as possible, then that goal should be driving
grammatical and style guide decisions.
User Assistance & Experience Engineer
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net www.writeforyou.com
"I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day
may come when the courage of Men fail, when we forsake our friends and
break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day! This day, we fight!"
"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
ROBOHELP X5 - ALL NEW VERSION. Now with Word 2003 support, Content
Management, Multi-Author support, PDF and XML support and much more!
Now is the best time to buy - special end of month promos, including:
$100 mail-in rebate; Free online orientation on content management
functionality; Huge savings on support and future product releases;
PLUS Great discounts on RoboHelp training. OFFER EXPIRES March 31!
Call 1-800-358-9370 or visit: http://www.ehelp.com/techwr-l
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 http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.