Re: extra words: unnecessary or educational?

Subject: Re: extra words: unnecessary or educational?
From: John Cornellier <cornellier1 -at- stavanger -dot- oilfield -dot- slb -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 12:47:18 +0200

Less is more. Terse is best.

Better to write a one page instruction that gets read than a 100 page book that stays shrinkwrapped.

On the other hand, your audience might find a terse style too technical, dull, or even intimidating. In this case, giving the same info with more words is justified if it helps get the message across.

Re. the examples, I would take a different approach. I think you're trying to say several things, some more important than others, but that the hierarchy of importance is not reflected in the sentence structure.

The main message is:
To transfer files between a workstation and the system, use the transmission program.

Secondary message(s):
- the transfer can go both ways
- the workstation must be connected

Tertiary message(s)
- files are stored on a hard disk in the sytem
- How to know if workstation is connected.
- Why transfer files.
- How to access the transmission program, etc., etc.

A more friendly way to put it might be.
You can copy files from your workstation to the system. This is useful for making backups and sharing files with your colleagues. First check the connected icon in the status bar [screenshot]. If it is green, you are connected. Next, open the transmission program, etc.

John Cornellier

On Wednesday 27 August 2003 01:46, pdenchfield -at- yahoo -dot- com wrote:
> Maybe this is "learning theory stuff." I'm not sure how to articulate my
> question.
> If deleting words from a sentence doesn't change meaning, is there ever a
> reason to keep them? I say yes. "Extra words" can facilitate quick
> learning.

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