Re: Comma rules and the imperative

Subject: Re: Comma rules and the imperative
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 14:19:19 -0500

Standard Mike Huber rule for grammar questions in the context of technical

If you have to ask, don't do it. Find a simpler way.

Why? If you, a professional writer, have to ask, then there is some subset
of the readership that will think the rule is what it isn't, so even if you
are right, those readers will be distracted by your "error."

Besides, figuring out the more complicated construction rules takes time.
Time that would be better spent in research or yet another edit pass.

I use more complicated sentences in other contexts, and then I think about
what the correct answer is. But not in user documentation. I have never had
a reader of my user-level technical documents complain that my sentences are
too simple. Not one. Ever.

mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com
nax -at- execpc -dot- com

> From: Jim Lockard [mailto:norton -at- MEGSINET -dot- NET]

> Here's a troublesome question I'd like
> to get some feedback on:
> In the sentence, "Type a new filename, and
> click OK," is it grammatically correct to
> include or omit the comma before the "and"?
> We often use the imperative voice (or is
> it a "tense") when we write instructions.
> The sentence subject, in the imperative,
> is an implied "you" as in, "Choose Save
> from the File menu."

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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