Re: Any comments on these 2 books?

Subject: Re: Any comments on these 2 books?
From: Steve Shewchuk <sshewchu -at- MAILHOST -dot- UWI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 07:58:45 -0800

Jim Purcell wrote:

>Trademark protection is hardly the primary purpose of the MSTP, as even
>a cursory reading will demonstrate. Nevertheless, it is a perfectly
>appropriate thing for a style guide to do. If a company does not protect
>its trademarks, they will become generic terms. Any company big enough
>to have a trademark and a lawyer will hammer this point endlessly to
>everybody who writes anything. Why would a company not incorporate its
>trademark lore in its style guide?

I think part of the problem is that Microsoft made no attempt to adjust
their style guide for "public consumption". By which I mean, they left a
whole bunch of information in the style guide that's very specific to their
own outlook, and that most of us in the "general public" of the tech
writing world don't care about.

For instance, if you look up DOS, the style guide makes it clear that you
should refer to it as MS-DOS. You should only use PC-DOS when talking
about upgrading to MS-DOS. Interesting that the manual assumes the only
thing I'd want to do with PC-DOS is upgrade it to MS-DOS. (And since when
is that an "upgrade"? I'd be more inclined to call it a "change".)

My point? The Microsoft Manual of Style remains completely
Microsoft-centric, despite the fact that it was published to a larger

Possibly good marketing on Bill's part, but something that I find annoying.

Steve Shewchuk
Technical Writer

UWI Unisoft Wares Inc.
Tel: (250)479-8334
email: sshewchu -at- uwi -dot- com

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