Word Choice

Subject: Word Choice
From: Michael Christie <mchristi -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 1994 18:37:42 -0800

Here's one that came up today-

I was re-writing a programmer's document to include in the user manual.
He used the word "expensive" to indicate that that a procedure used a lot
of system resources. Now I'm a big believer in using the fewest words to
get my point across, but I found myself saying "uses an excessive amount
of system resources" in order to be more specific and accurate.

The question, of course, is, are there times when more words are better
than fewer? Should one >>always<< avoid colloqualisms, even when the target
audience will certainly understand what is meant? Should one always err
on the side of accuracy even when it means using more words?

Mike Christie
Technical Writer
Syntelligence Systems, Inc.

mikec -at- syntel -dot- com OR
mchristi -at- netcom -dot- com

btw - what I actually said was "too much system resources" but I didn't
want you vultures out there jumping on my use of the
adjectve "much" with the plural "resources" and missing the basic
question I was trying to ask. :-) ;-)

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