Re: usage: detail(ed) design

Subject: Re: usage: detail(ed) design
From: Betsy Maaks <bmaaks -at- FRAME -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 09:36:32 CDT

At 07:57 7/21/95 EDT, you wrote:
>A few of my authors are disagreeing on whether to say "detail design" or
>"detailed design." Before working at this company, all the authors I worked
>with called it a "detailed design." There are a few here who choose to omit
>the "ed." I have been asked to give my "expert" editorial opinion (uh-oh)
>and back up my opinion with sources. I have three computer dictionaries,
>none of which mention this kind of design. So far, I can only go by the
>dictionary, Webster's 10th. I would choose "detailed" because it is acting
>as an adjective, but I would like your opinions and, if possible, sources.

I agree. This is not a computer term problem, but *grammar*. I lament that
it seems like grammar is being abandoned for "whatever *sounds* right," and
that whatever is spoken colloquially must be good grammar. I believe you are
correct that "detailed" is a past participle used as an adjective. I would
say that a "detail design" is a design of a detail, as in "car design."

Thanks for challenging this "detail" ;-/ of grammar with the authors at your
location. And maybe suggest they review their English grammar so the readers
of their documents are given correct language. Better yet, do I hear any
cheers for a good editor, who monitors poor use of language? (that's another
lament: companies do not hire editors and expect that all tech writers know
English grammar through and through. I think your example points out that
many do not).

Thanks, too, for letting me vent. Go in good grammar!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are strickly my own.
Betsy Maaks + Frame Technology Corp.
312-266-3208 + Advanced Products
bmaaks -at- frame -dot- com + 441 W. Huron Street
+ Chicago, IL 60610


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