The DOWN SIDE of downstyle

Subject: The DOWN SIDE of downstyle
From: Arthur Comings <atc -at- CORTE-MADERA -dot- GEOQUEST -dot- SLB -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 11:37:21 PDT

I didn't notice anyone mentioning this; forgive me if it slipped by:

The main down side of not capitalizing all significant words in a head
is that the head doesn't hang together when you refer to it elsewhere
in the manual; with a lot of caps, it does.

Of course, if your style is to italicize (or otherwise flag) such
names, the problem goes away, more or less.

Still, even though I've forced a nice downstyle into the field labels
on all of the forms and windows in our software (I proposed and wrote
the Onscreen Style Guide with a kindred-soul programmer), and I use
italics for section and volume titles, AND I don't use caps elsewhere
unless absolutely necessary, I still like 'em for titles -- including
window titles. I think it's because the average reader is used to
seeing titles that way, and I don't want to stick my personal aesthetic
into their face too much. But it's also because the titles stick together
nicely when they're mentioned elsewhere.

Downstyle for newspaper heads is great, though -- I guess the
difference for me is that you don't have to refer to them very often.
If you do, of course, you're forced to put 'em in quotes or something,
whereas if they were all capped . . .


Previous by Author: Summary: Newsletters for fun and profit
Next by Author: Sexist cover letters?
Previous by Thread: Re: Discuss: Third party manuals?
Next by Thread: Hall of Fame (was Technical Writer Classifications)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads