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empowering the user and traditional tech writing - style discussion



We need to discuss our writing style approach; I think it's too late for
FC6, so we need to stick with what works for now.  But Paul W. Frields
challenged me with the idea of empowering the user and having a specific
style to support that.

In traditional tech writing, we try not to use pronouns yet keep an
active voice.  It makes for a cleaner writing, easier to translate, and
has fewer assumptions implied about the reader, which helps to make it
more accessible.  It also sounds less like marketspeak[1] and
cheerleader-writing[2].

For example:

"You can click on Applications > Sound & Video > CD Player to start the
audio CD application."

v.

"Click on Applications > Sound & Video > CD Player to start the audio CD
application."

And so forth.

However, a blanket rule to "never use 'you'" might be wrong.  At the
least, we can discuss here what we want to do.  Perhaps we can break
some new ground, or at least join the 21st century. ;-D

- Karsten

[1] Markestpeak == language used in marketing products/services, which
is deliberately personal

[2] Cheerleader-writing == my term for writing with lots of exclamation
points!  You'll love it!  Or not!  But you just can't make it stop!
Yes, I used to edit my high school newspaper.

-- 
Karsten Wade, RHCE, 108 Editor    ^     Fedora Documentation Project 
 Sr. Developer Relations Mgr.     |  fedoraproject.org/wiki/DocsProject
   quaid.108.redhat.com           |          gpg key: AD0E0C41
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