Conclusion: If you are using . . .

Subject: Conclusion: If you are using . . .
From: LaVonna Funkhouser <lffunkhouser -at- HALNET -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 1995 08:19:13 -0500

Thanks to the 11 or so of you who gave me your opinion on leaving
the "you are" in "If you are using the (product) . . .." You unanimously
agreed that the "you" should be left in.

I'd like to share a couple of gems that were sent my way.

Grant Lowe offered a very good rewrite that retains the "you":

Instead of...
"If you are using the (unit name) to send data over a LAN, . . . ,"
How about...
"If you send data over a LAN using the (unit name), . . ."


Mark Levinson made an excellent point about dangling modifiers
(all too common):

** Depends on what follows.

If you are using the (unit name) to send data over a LAN,
speed will be affected by the amount of net activity.

MUST NOT leave out "you are", or the modifier will
dangle improperly.

If you are using the (unit name) to send data over a LAN,
make sure the LAN will not otherwise be heavily used for
the next hour.

OKAY to leave out "you are", because "using" will
still modify the right thing. In a case like this,
I wouldn't make an issue of the difference in clarity.
Fortunatly, the construction is like Mark's second example.

The result? You might be relieved to know that this was *NOT* a
big issue here. I just raised it on techwr-l as an example. When
I told the editor that I thought the sentence was clearer with the
"you are" left in, she agreed to let me leave it. No hassle at all.
(I have to take her journalistic training into consideration when I
receive her mark-ups.)

Thanks for your input and your time.

LaVonna F. Funkhouser Immediate Past President, OK Chapter
lffunkhouser -at- halnet -dot- com Program Manager, 1995 Region 5 Conf.
technical writer Society for Technical Communication
COREStaff Communication Svcs.

My opinions do not officially represent anyone other than me.

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