How Not to do Tech Writing

rogersgeorge on February 8th, 2018

I dare say this Boomerangs comic speaks for itself…

Do I need to belabor the point? Tech writing should be so plain and clear that you don’t notice the writing! Send for that five critical techniques for good writing document I mention in the column on the right if you don’t believe me, or if you want some good advice.

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Someone Gets Enormity Correct

rogersgeorge on February 6th, 2018

I suppose this is another one of my pet peeves. Enormity means “extremely bad,” not “extremely large.” ‘Nuff said.This is most of one panel from a longish narrative about a visit to a post-apocalyptic—well, here’s the link. Not my kind of adventure, but at least he got “enormity” right.

The Only Time I Recommend Using “It”

rogersgeorge on February 4th, 2018

That headline is a bit strong, but I want to keep the title to this post short.

To clarify,

  • I generally recommend against pronouns altogether because your reader might not understand what word (called the antecedent, by the way) the pronoun is referring to. Do a search on “pronoun” in the upper right corner of this page to find several more posts on the subject of avoiding pronouns.
  • I also tell you not to use false subjects, one of which is “It is.” See also “There is” and “There are.” Make your sentences name the guilty party!

Here’s a comic that illustrates a point I made in that post about false subjects; the weather can have a false subject:

Mr. Bucket’s hair looks funny drawn from the back.

Lesson in a Pun

rogersgeorge on January 30th, 2018

English is replete with words that are pronounced the same, but spelled differently, and have different meanings. Peek and peak, for instance. We call these homonyms. Here’s another one, not as common, perhaps, but I still recommend you get these right:

Thank you, Hägar the Horrible.

A Standing Joke

rogersgeorge on January 28th, 2018

The protagonist in Darren Bell’s strip Candorville is a writer. Hence, like me he’s somewhat of a grammar curmudgeon. Darren must figure that this lesson needs repeating, because I’ve seen this conversation before.

He’s absolutely correct, too.  Myself, I prefer to shop at grocery stores whose express lane says “15 or fewer items.”