atw: Re: Youse

  • From: "Terry Dowling" <Terrence.Dowling@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2010 16:55:56 +0800


A clear misinterpretation on my part, then. And possibly on yours.

Good luck in still being a writer in 50 or 100 years. :)

>And, as this thread has strongly attested,
>"youse" would be distracting. Now. Get it now?
Ah, now I get it. Hang on, isn't that what I've been saying?
Didn't you say "OK, I will accept that your refusal to use "youse" is to
avoid the snobbery of others"? 
Thus implying you would use it. [my interpretation]

Maybe it's just a timing thing. You're saying you would use it 'cos you
like a plural of you; I'm saying I won't use it until it becomes
standard. I would point out there is a plural of the homonym 'ewe' but
not of 'sheep'. Ironic or what?! Do you want 'sheeps' added to your
wants list? :)

>Here is my golden rule. I write to:
>* get my message across
>* get my message across with the least effort on my readers' part and
>* get my message across with the least distraction on my readers' part
They're good, but *I* also have to comply with technical standards.
There are also some instances where some of my readers might not
understand some of what is written. This is mostly because my client
wants me to write a document that covers both electrical and mechanical
trades, as well as operators. I don't fully understand some of the
mechancical or operator stuff, so I attempt to explain as best I can,
but assume that those who need to know will have a better understanding
than me. What I didn't understand, I looked up/researched to make sure
what I wrote wouldn't kill folk.

I've often said that I see myself as a professional idiot -- the
stupidest person likely to use the equipment -- and I have to make sure
that the manual is clear and unambiguous so I can't make stuff-ups.
You're welcome to think of me just as an idiot, but I'd like to think
that you'd be sadly misguided.
>Do yourself
>a favour and study the history of English. You might find that your
>cherished "standards" are no more absolute than the cherished standards
>were abandoned in the 19th century, the 18th century, the 17th century
>ad nauseam 
I don't know what standards you think I'm referring to. I have to write
to company standards and they require me to follow Australian Standards.
These have a lot of requirements I don't like, too. But that doesn't
help when the reviewer sends it back saying it doesn't comply and the
contract says it "shall".

>Finally, on the issue of respect for your reader: if you expect your
>to look up words you use that are no longer conventional, you are
really not
>showing them much respect at all.
Geoffrey, I admire you a lot and cherish this list. I'd probably like
you if I got to meet you. But...
Where have I said I use words that are no longer conventional? This is
copied from my last email:
"I don't use words or punctuation marks that are not commonly accepted
(new or old) unless there is a 'good' reason and I would also provide
some definition."

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