TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Humor in Manuals From:scot <scot -at- HCI -dot- COM -dot- AU> Date:Thu, 23 May 1996 11:35:36 +1000
>> I'd be interested in hearing comments from anyone about judicious
>> use of humor in documentation or books. <snip>
>An early Juki daisywheel printer manual, done by a California firm, had
>superb one-frame cartoons in the margins of some of the pages. They were
>well drawn, tasteful, and funny. I don't remember the tone of the text
>itself, but I do remember that it was a complete technical programming
>and operation manual.
>A guy brought it to a computer club meeting. Everybody loved it. No one
>thought the cartoons were inappropriate or the manual lacked class.
... But the only thing you remember about it that it was _FUNNY_. What about
the printer's operational details (the important bit)? You admit you don't
remember the text! What sort of _manual_ is that?
Has anyone ever seen those John Cleese training videos - you know, there's
one on telephone manner and others on (similar) basic topics.
People _remember_ the videos all right, (the reason they used a comedy star
like Cleese in them), but what they remember, is JOHN CLEESE WAS FUNNY, the
actual information they were meant to retain is swamped by the humour.
When I want to laugh, I buy a funny book, if I want John Cleese, I rent a
Monty Python video.
Post Message: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Get Commands: LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU with "help" in body.
Unsubscribe: LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU with "signoff TECHWR-L"
Listowner: ejray -at- ionet -dot- net