Quotes for emphasis (was Re: Warning text)

Subject: Quotes for emphasis (was Re: Warning text)
From: "Mike Starr" <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2006 11:31:26 -0500

The use of quotes in the example cited is for emphasis. On a personal level, I have deprecated the use of quotes for emphasis, relying instead on a character style (currenly dark blue, bold, sans serif) to highlight text I want to emphasize. I'm doing my best to get away from legacy formatting that derived from ASCII-only text editing or from typewriters. That stuff was useful forty years ago but we no longer need it. Just because I learned how to do something one way when I was a pup doesn't mean I have to continue doing it that way now that tools are available to simplify the process and make it better for the user.

Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Website developer
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
Phone: (262) 694-1028 - Tollfree: (877) 892-1028 - Fax:(262) 697-6334
Email: mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - Web: http://www.writestarr.com
----- Original Message ----- Message: 40
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2006 09:50:57 +0900
From: Norm Dancy <norm -at- navix -dot- jp>
Subject: Warning text

I have to check a lot of user's manuals for consumer electronic
devices. They usually have a block of text warning that there is
dangerous voltage inside and not to open the case. The problem I have
is that they use double quotes around _dangerous voltage_. Since those
two words are not a quote and not a special use of a technical term the
quotes indicate to me irony as if it is not really "dangerous".
Shouldn't the double quotes be deleted? I've searched the Internet but
cannot find any published standard or requirement for this particular
text blob. The text is quoted below:

The lightning flash with the arrowhead symbol, within an equilateral
triangle, is intended to alert the user to the presence of uninsulated
"dangerous voltage" within the product's enclosure that may be of
sufficient magnitude to constitute a risk of electric shock to

P.S. I also feel that "...constitute a risk of electric shock to
persons." is superfluous and should just be "...constitute a risk of
electric shock."

Norm Dancy

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