Make 'em smile

In "It's Okay to Make A Reader Smile" an uncredited author points out that one advantage of the "For Dummies" (and "The Missing Manual") series is their ability to incorporate humor, and in fact humanity, in their writing. Official documentation is always so dry, neutral, and lifeless.

He relates a story about attempting to add a wry comment that was ultimately vetoed by marketing before the book was released. I have a nearly identical experience. In my case, a printed tutorial included several full-window screen captures reduced to about half size. To make matters worse, it was tabular material, and the text referred to the values shown in the example screen. So I wrote -- "After the tablespace is reordered, the savings are added to the report, as shown in the illustration below. (Magnifying glass not included.)"

Needless to say, that never saw the light of day either.

Posted: February 14, 2003 link to this item, Tweet this item, respond to this item