Re: If you are using...

Subject: Re: If you are using...
From: Jane Bergen <janeb -at- IADFW -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 1995 05:56:47 GMT

LaVonna Funkhouser <lffunkhouser -at- halnet -dot- com> wrote:

>Somebody on techwr-l brought up the subject of using or not using "you"
>in documentation, so I'm continuing the thread with my question:

>I had this phrase in my instructions

> "If you are using the (unit name) to send data over a LAN, . . . ,"

>and my editor took out "you are" to make "If using."

>I can overrule the change if I feel it is clearer the first way (which
>I do). Just for kicks, what do you think?

I'm posting this to the list because others might benefit. I just
changed a document that I was asked to edit. It was so abstract
because the writer had avoided using the word "you" that it had
lost meaning! The poor reader would wonder who the heck was
doing/supposed to do all these wondrous acts.

Use "you" when it makes makes for clear and direct
language. It also USUALLY shortens the sentences and saves time,
for both you as a writer and the reader who's trying to learn

Janie Bergen

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