Re: Any comments on these 2 books?

Subject: Re: Any comments on these 2 books?
From: Lisa Higgins <lisa -at- DRDDO1 -dot- EI -dot- LUCENT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 11:01:04 +0000

> Ajig Alcalde wrote:
> >> Has anyone read the following two books?
> >> Can you give me your opinions about them?
> >> Lyn Dupre, "BUGS in Writing" Addison Wesley
> >> Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Documentation.
> I'm not familiar with "BUGS in Writing", but I do recommend the Microsoft
> Manual Of Style. It's a good reference to use if you're not sure of which
> terms to use to refer to certain hardware/software items (e.g., "What
> should I use as the plural of 'mouse'?", "Does 'double-click' always need
> the hyphen?", etc.

I've never actually used the MS Manual of Style on the job, but that
is by design. I was given it to look over and make recommendations
on, and I found it absolutely appalling, and I very strongly
recommend against using it.

Its publication followed fairly closely Bill Gates' statement that
Microsoft was "not in the documentation business."

And it shows. The manual seems to have been written primarily for the
purpose of protecting their trademark of the term "Windows."

The manual regularly recommends that single words be replaced with
bizarre compound nouns and complex adjectival strings, and frankly,
it doesn't really answer a lot of questions you'll probably have. I'd
venture to say that a great deal of the success of third party
documentation rests with corporate standards such as those now being
made public in the MS Manual of Style. If I had a little more time
today, I'd hone the edges on this conspiracy theory, but I don't, so
I shan't.

(BTW, isn't their solution to the plural of 'mouse' to call it a
'mouse pointing device' or something equally ridiculous?)

lhiggins -at- lucent -dot- com

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