Monday, August 15, 2016

No!! Tell Me It isn't So!

From this page, I randomly selected this link where I saw a member of my Top 10 Most Hated Technical Writing Strategies. It is the technique of putting "This page is intentionally blank" on a page in a user manual. How is a page that has text on it "blank" - it's not blank!


This is a widespread strategy and I know I shall never overcome its evilness. Instead of that sentence, I would implore any technical writer considering using it to replace that sentence with "Notes" which accomplishes the purpose of including the page for page layout purposes. At my very first technical writing job, which I started 21 years, 6 months, 5 days, ago on 2/10/1995, Karen Barth (my mentor) used "Notes" as a replacement for the evil idiotic sentence. We worked with printed user manuals and needed that page so that a new "topic" would always begin on the "right" page when looking at a user manual. That practice has been in my mind ever since. I left that job 18 years, 6 months, 5 days, on 2/10/1998 but it still resonates.

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