Tag Archives: clarity

Serial comma (Oxford comma)

  Commas seem to cause a lot of dismay among writers and subs generally. Their purpose, how they work, where to place them seems to cause unending consternation. I think that might be one reason there is some hostility to … Continue reading

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Latin abbreviations in technical writing

Many style guides as well as simplified English and plain English campaigners share a common goal of wanting to eradicate Latin loan-words from English, and this includes Latin abbreviations. This post from a 2012 entry on ferswriteshoe blog is nice … Continue reading

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Shall vs. Will

In an earlier post, one in which I was trying to be funny, I mentioned shall or indeed, shalt, as a sign that god was a technical writer. But, when do you use shall or will? What is the difference? … Continue reading

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Passive voice in tech writing

Use the active voice and never use the passive voice, ever! Does this sound familiar to tech writers? It is written into style guides, it is in Strunk and White (and Geoffrey K. Pullum does a nice critique of it that I … Continue reading

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Language use: act like a baby and treat others like one too

Maybe it seems like I am being puerile with the title or going to mention something about always using the lowest common denominator when thinking of your audience. But, not at all; the opposite in fact. It’s in infancy when … Continue reading

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Some words and phrases to consider avoiding in tech writing

Moot point – avoid at all costs. Audience may not know what moot means. To be honest I have never seen this in tech writing, but have seen it a lot in journalistic writing. Nevertheless – There is nothing wrong … Continue reading

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Keep calm and carry on: a tech writer’s analysis

There are not many posters that warrant their own Wikipedia page, but this is one. This is an order; an instruction from government to a nation at a time of crisis. And, it is written as simply as possible. Only five … Continue reading

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