Re: Capital letters

Subject: Re: Capital letters
From: Dan BRINEGAR <vr2link -at- VR2LINK -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 10:42:23 -0700

Earlier, I wrote:

>> [ student journalism, capitalised rank/titles] .... Nevermind that as
>>the edited story ran, egregious factual
>>errors caused a near-riot at the student union
>>There's a rule of technical communication in there somewhere....<grin>

I was authoritatively advised to explicitly state that rule, if I expected
to keep writing about writing within our present venue...

Mike Huber <mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com> saved the day when he said:

>May I propose that the rule be referred to as
> The Inverse Law of Revision

Mike wins!

Perfect, we've now codified Rule #8:

Rule #1) Dear Mom...

Rule #2)If you screw this up, your customers *could* die.

Rule #3)If the users are idiots, you're not doing your job (see Rule #1).

Rule #4) If you haven't just done what you are telling your customers to
do, make sure that someone who does it regularly checks your instructions.

Rule #5) It's about the customers, not the writer, dummy.

Rule #6) If it's hard to use, they won't use it.

Rule #7) Presenting personal opinion or manipulated statistics as technical
information or survey data endangers customers and leaves the writer
vulnerable to universal condemnation: Unless you're a really big
corporation or columnist for a trade magazine (see also Rules #2 & 3).

Rule #8) The technical or factual accuracy of a document is inversely
proportional to the effort expended editing grammar, style or punctuation
when the number of authors or editors exceeds 2.

Rule #9) Even the blindingly obvious needs to be spelled out on some
occasions (see Rule #3).

{{& !-- Cognitive overflow error: Miller Upper Limit Alarm: maximum
short-term retention probablility
+/- 42.8% --!

& !-- It is recommended that passive voice be minimized in technical
documentation --!

!-- Are you sure you want to continue? <<cancel>> <OK>
--! &}}

[Note: No personal pronouns were oppressed during the drafting of this message]

Performance S u p p o r t Svcs.
Phoenix, Arizona
<mailto:vr2link -at- vr2link -dot- com>

"Think Different: Only Nixon could go to China."

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Re: Capital letters
Next by Author: bit.listserv.techwr-l (Was: Pulling the plug)
Previous by Thread: Re: Capital letters
Next by Thread: Rocky Mountain Indexing Conference

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

Sponsored Ads