Writing techniques

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Peter Schofield-3 Peter Schofield-3
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Writing techniques

After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.

The following ideas come from my experience in working within Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.

1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on; e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).

There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.

Please let me know your opinion.

Regards
Peter Schofield
[hidden email]




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Ilmari Lauhakangas Ilmari Lauhakangas
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Re: Writing techniques

Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:

> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
>
> The following ideas come from my experience in working within Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
>
> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on; e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
>
> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
>
> Please let me know your opinion.

There is a style guide in the wiki:
https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide

Ilmari

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Leo Moons-3 Leo Moons-3
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Re: Writing techniques

In reply to this post by Peter Schofield-3
Dear Peter,

Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas and I am pretty sure we can use
these ideas also in other languages. Maybe you have more tips you can share?

Many thanks
Best regards

Leo Moons
LibreOffice/nl


Op 27/03/2020 om 09:23 schreef Peter Schofield:

> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
>
> The following ideas come from my experience in working within Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
>
> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on; e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
>
> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
>
> Please let me know your opinion.
>
> Regards
> Peter Schofield
> [hidden email]
>
>
>
>


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Peter Schofield-3 Peter Schofield-3
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Re: Writing techniques

In reply to this post by Ilmari Lauhakangas
Hello Ilmari

The Style Guide does not cover all my suggestions, mainly use of apostrophe and word contractions. These two items do cause problems when translating English.
My ideas about paragraphs and sentences are similar to the Style Guide, but I have put a number in the requirement. This does help if writers follow the suggestion.
Regards
Peter Schofield
[hidden email]



> On 27 Mar 2020, at 10:11, Ilmari Lauhakangas <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:
>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on; e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
>> Please let me know your opinion.
>
> There is a style guide in the wiki: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide
>
> Ilmari
>
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Peter Schofield-3 Peter Schofield-3
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Re: Writing techniques

In reply to this post by Leo Moons-3
Hello Leo

I have plenty of tips I could share, but those were the easiest ones to put in a suggestion. The Simplified English guide I have used is the ASD-STE100 and that is a tome that takes ages to get through and digest. Too big to incorporate into a LibreOffice Style Guide. I need some spare time to edit and only use the good bits for a suggestion. I think later in the year when all the other jobs have been done whilst we are in lockdown
Regards
Peter Schofield
[hidden email]



> On 27 Mar 2020, at 11:24, Leo Moons <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Dear Peter,
>
> Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas and I am pretty sure we can use these ideas also in other languages. Maybe you have more tips you can share?
>
> Many thanks
> Best regards
>
> Leo Moons
> LibreOffice/nl
>
>
> Op 27/03/2020 om 09:23 schreef Peter Schofield:
>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
>>
>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
>>
>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on; e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
>>
>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
>>
>> Please let me know your opinion.
>>
>> Regards
>> Peter Schofield
>> [hidden email]
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> To unsubscribe e-mail to: [hidden email]
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Olivier Hallot-4 Olivier Hallot-4
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Re: Writing techniques

In reply to this post by Peter Schofield-3
Hello All

If no objection rises, I'll merge the suggestions in the wiki page.

Kind regards
Olivier

Em 27/03/2020 07:28, Peter Schofield escreveu:

> Hello Ilmari
>
> The Style Guide does not cover all my suggestions, mainly use of apostrophe and word contractions. These two items do cause problems when translating English.
> My ideas about paragraphs and sentences are similar to the Style Guide, but I have put a number in the requirement. This does help if writers follow the suggestion.
> Regards
> Peter Schofield
> [hidden email]
>
>
>
>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 10:11, Ilmari Lauhakangas <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:
>>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
>>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
>>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
>>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
>>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
>>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
>>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on; e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
>>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
>>> Please let me know your opinion.
>>
>> There is a style guide in the wiki: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide
>>
>> Ilmari
>>
>> --
>> To unsubscribe e-mail to: [hidden email]
>> Problems? https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
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>> List archive: https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
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>
>

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Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - Local Time: UTC-03:00
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Peter Schofield-3 Peter Schofield-3
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Re: Writing techniques

In reply to this post by Peter Schofield-3
Hello Bernard

The use of “never” is deliberate as it does make it easier to translate English. Also, using the “Never” items in a document does make it harder for a user whose mother tongue is not English to understand what is meant. I have had experience of this.

I have not heard of George Miller, but will now look him up.

Regards
Peter Schofield
[hidden email]



> On 27 Mar 2020, at 12:49, Poole, Bernard J <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I like these rules, Peter, with one question mark: Should the word "Never" be replaced by the word "Rarely?"
>
> I'm thinking especially of Rule 3 where the possessive apostrophe is sometimes hard to work around without making a sentence unnecessarily awkward.  I think there should be exceptions allowed for this rule, don't you think?
>
> Essentially, Peter, your ideas here echo those of George Miller (1956), with whom you are no doubt already aware:
>
> https://www.informationmapping.com/in/resources/blog/writing-for-the-web-the-magical-number-seven-plus-or-minus-two
>
> I wrote a paper related to this subject as it pertains to Software Engineering:
>
> Poole, Bernard J., Noreen L. Prokop, "Miller's Magical Number: A Heuristic Applied to Software Engineering," in
> INFORMATION EXECUTIVE, Journal of the Data Processing Management Association, June 1989.
>
> I'd love to know your thoughts on this.
>
> Bernard
>
> Bernard John Poole, MSIS, PGCE
> Associate Professor Emeritus CS & Education
> University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
> Johnstown, PA 15904, USA
> e-mail: [hidden email]
> home page: www.pitt.edu/~poole
> ----
> “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple.  The philosophy is kindness.” (The Dalai Lama)
>
> ________________________________________
> From: Peter Schofield <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Friday, March 27, 2020 4:23 AM
> To: LibreOffice
> Subject: [libreoffice-documentation] Writing techniques
>
> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
>
> The following ideas come from my experience in working within Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
>
> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on; e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
>
> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
>
> Please let me know your opinion.
>
> Regards
> Peter Schofield
> [hidden email]
>
>
>
>
> --
> To unsubscribe e-mail to: [hidden email]
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Peter Schofield-3 Peter Schofield-3
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Re: Writing techniques

In reply to this post by Olivier Hallot-4
Hello Olivier

Definitely no objections from me. Hopefully, we will then get a standard English appearing across all the guides.

Regards
Peter Schofield
[hidden email]



> On 27 Mar 2020, at 12:32, Olivier Hallot <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello All
>
> If no objection rises, I'll merge the suggestions in the wiki page.
>
> Kind regards
> Olivier
>
> Em 27/03/2020 07:28, Peter Schofield escreveu:
>> Hello Ilmari
>>
>> The Style Guide does not cover all my suggestions, mainly use of apostrophe and word contractions. These two items do cause problems when translating English.
>> My ideas about paragraphs and sentences are similar to the Style Guide, but I have put a number in the requirement. This does help if writers follow the suggestion.
>> Regards
>> Peter Schofield
>> [hidden email]
>>
>>
>>
>>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 10:11, Ilmari Lauhakangas <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:
>>>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
>>>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
>>>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
>>>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
>>>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
>>>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
>>>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on; e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
>>>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
>>>> Please let me know your opinion.
>>>
>>> There is a style guide in the wiki: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide
>>>
>>> Ilmari
>>>
>>> --
>>> To unsubscribe e-mail to: [hidden email]
>>> Problems? https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
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>>> List archive: https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
>>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
>>
>>
>
> --
> Olivier Hallot
> LibreOffice Documentation Coordinator
> Comunidade LibreOffice
> Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - Local Time: UTC-03:00
> http://tdf.io/joinus
>
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Olivier Hallot-4 Olivier Hallot-4
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Re: Writing techniques

Hi Peter, all

I merged your suggestions to the Style wiki page/chapter:

https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide#Writing_style

The 5th item was already mentioned (Latin abbreviations)

Regards
Olivier

Em 27/03/2020 08:59, Peter Schofield escreveu:

> Hello Olivier
>
> Definitely no objections from me. Hopefully, we will then get a standard English appearing across all the guides.
>
> Regards
> Peter Schofield
> [hidden email]
>
>
>
>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 12:32, Olivier Hallot <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hello All
>>
>> If no objection rises, I'll merge the suggestions in the wiki page.
>>
>> Kind regards
>> Olivier
>>
>> Em 27/03/2020 07:28, Peter Schofield escreveu:
>>> Hello Ilmari
>>>
>>> The Style Guide does not cover all my suggestions, mainly use of apostrophe and word contractions. These two items do cause problems when translating English.
>>> My ideas about paragraphs and sentences are similar to the Style Guide, but I have put a number in the requirement. This does help if writers follow the suggestion.
>>> Regards
>>> Peter Schofield
>>> [hidden email]
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 10:11, Ilmari Lauhakangas <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:
>>>>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
>>>>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
>>>>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
>>>>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
>>>>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
>>>>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
>>>>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on; e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
>>>>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
>>>>> Please let me know your opinion.
>>>>
>>>> There is a style guide in the wiki: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide
>>>>
>>>> Ilmari
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> To unsubscribe e-mail to: [hidden email]
>>>> Problems? https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
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>>>> List archive: https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
>>>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
>>>
>>>
>>
>> --
>> Olivier Hallot
>> LibreOffice Documentation Coordinator
>> Comunidade LibreOffice
>> Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - Local Time: UTC-03:00
>> http://tdf.io/joinus
>>
>> --
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>
>

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khanson679 khanson679
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Re: Writing techniques

In reply to this post by Peter Schofield-3
Hello,

Sorry to butt in after being absent so long, but I'm worried about these
proposed rules.

I agree with rules to keep sentences and paragraphs short, breaking up long
sentences and paragraphs when possible. On the other hand, I'm uneasy about
rules like Peter's (1) and (2) stipulating maximum numbers of words or
sentences. If the numbers are intended as rules of thumb, they should be
rewritten to reflect this. If they are meant to be hard limits, it's easy
to imagine situations where following such a rule could make the result
harder to understand.

Second, I struggle to see how rules (3-5) would make translation easier, or
whether this is a good reason to implement them.

Regarding (4), if a translator's command of English is so poor that they
cannot understand common contractions, it seems doubtful that using
one-to-one replacements would make all the difference.

Regarding (5), if anything I think Latin abbreviations should be avoided
for the sake of readers of the English version, for maximum accessibility.
It appears from the wiki history that this provision was already in the
style guide.

Finally, regarding (3), genitive possessives are such a basic component of
English grammar that I worry that circumlocutions would harm readability to
an unacceptable degree, even if this improves ease of translation. No
examples are given, so I don't know what is intended. There are examples of
cases to avoid possessive pronouns already in the style guide, but these
are not contexts in which a full noun (phrase) would be used.

I think I understand the background that Peter is coming from, but I think
this issue requires more discussion.

--Kenneth


On Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 6:59 AM Peter Schofield <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello Olivier
>
> Definitely no objections from me. Hopefully, we will then get a standard
> English appearing across all the guides.
>
> Regards
> Peter Schofield
> [hidden email]
>
>
>
> > On 27 Mar 2020, at 12:32, Olivier Hallot <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > Hello All
> >
> > If no objection rises, I'll merge the suggestions in the wiki page.
> >
> > Kind regards
> > Olivier
> >
> > Em 27/03/2020 07:28, Peter Schofield escreveu:
> >> Hello Ilmari
> >>
> >> The Style Guide does not cover all my suggestions, mainly use of
> apostrophe and word contractions. These two items do cause problems when
> translating English.
> >> My ideas about paragraphs and sentences are similar to the Style Guide,
> but I have put a number in the requirement. This does help if writers
> follow the suggestion.
> >> Regards
> >> Peter Schofield
> >> [hidden email]
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 10:11, Ilmari Lauhakangas <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:
> >>>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I
> though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
> >>>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within
> Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
> >>>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
> >>>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the
> occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
> >>>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite
> the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
> >>>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do
> not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
> >>>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on;
> e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
> >>>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good
> start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into
> other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
> >>>> Please let me know your opinion.
> >>>
> >>> There is a style guide in the wiki:
> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide
> >>>
> >>> Ilmari
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> [hidden email]
> >>> Problems?
> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
> >>> Posting guidelines + more:
> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
> >>> List archive:
> https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
> >>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
> >>
> >>
> >
> > --
> > Olivier Hallot
> > LibreOffice Documentation Coordinator
> > Comunidade LibreOffice
> > Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - Local Time: UTC-03:00
> > http://tdf.io/joinus
> >
> > --
> > To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> [hidden email]
> > Problems?
> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
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>
>
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jonathon-6 jonathon-6
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Re: Writing techniques

On 27/03/20 7:17 pm, Kenneth Hanson wrote:
>I'm uneasy about rules like Peter's (1) and (2) stipulating maximum numbers of words or sentences. If the numbers are intended as rules of thumb, they should be rewritten to reflect this. If they are meant to be hard limits, it's easy to imagine situations where following such a rule could make the result harder to understand.
Those numbers (word length and sentence length) correspond to roughly a
sixth grade reading level. This is the reading level of the average US
resident.

The _Readability Report_ extension, provided reading level scores using
various formulas. Unfortunately, this extension hasn't worked with LibO
since 2010, or with AOo since circa 2015.

> Second, I struggle to see how rules (3-5) would make translation easier, or whether this is a good reason to implement them.

If you want to be picky, the relevant guideline is _first person
positive present tense active voice, with no contractions,
abbreviations, or foreign words_

It can be an extremely difficult mode to get used to writing in,
especially if one was taught that James Joyce is the perfect writer to
emulate.

> Regarding (4), if a translator's command of English is so poor that they cannot understand common contractions, it seems doubtful that using one-to-one replacements would make all the difference.

This specific item has nothing to do with the translator's command of
English, and everything to do with the grammatical structure of the
target language, especially when the translation sequence is:
English -> Target Language 1 -> Target Language 2 - Target Language 3.
(AFAIK, no translation projects currently use this sequence. It is
extremely common for endangered and minority languages, that are
related to each other.)

> I think I understand the background that Peter is coming from, but I think this issue requires more discussion.

Discussion about guidelines that target ease of translation, should
include all groups that produce original content in their specific
language. Offhand, I don't remember which documentation teams create
original content, and which translate existing content. On a
semi-related note, I don't which teams, if any, localise the
documentation for any specific language_country.


The items:

1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the
occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite
the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do not;
won’t becomes will not, and so on)
5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on;
e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).

jonathon

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Peter Schofield-3 Peter Schofield-3
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Re: Writing techniques

In reply to this post by khanson679
Hello Kenneth

Having worked internationally as a Technical Writer, I understand what is required to get the message. I have had personal experience of non-English people not understanding apostrophes and word contractions. LO has no control over who uses our software and writing in Simplified English avoids any questions being asked on what does this mean.
To the best of my knowledge, Simplified English including my suggestions was originally created by Caterpillar who have a huge international clientele. It works for Caterpillar and also Airbus, so why not LO.
Regards
Peter Schofield
Sent from my iPad Mini

> On 27 Mar 2020, at 20:19, Kenneth Hanson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello,
>
> Sorry to butt in after being absent so long, but I'm worried about these
> proposed rules.
>
> I agree with rules to keep sentences and paragraphs short, breaking up long
> sentences and paragraphs when possible. On the other hand, I'm uneasy about
> rules like Peter's (1) and (2) stipulating maximum numbers of words or
> sentences. If the numbers are intended as rules of thumb, they should be
> rewritten to reflect this. If they are meant to be hard limits, it's easy
> to imagine situations where following such a rule could make the result
> harder to understand.
>
> Second, I struggle to see how rules (3-5) would make translation easier, or
> whether this is a good reason to implement them.
>
> Regarding (4), if a translator's command of English is so poor that they
> cannot understand common contractions, it seems doubtful that using
> one-to-one replacements would make all the difference.
>
> Regarding (5), if anything I think Latin abbreviations should be avoided
> for the sake of readers of the English version, for maximum accessibility.
> It appears from the wiki history that this provision was already in the
> style guide.
>
> Finally, regarding (3), genitive possessives are such a basic component of
> English grammar that I worry that circumlocutions would harm readability to
> an unacceptable degree, even if this improves ease of translation. No
> examples are given, so I don't know what is intended. There are examples of
> cases to avoid possessive pronouns already in the style guide, but these
> are not contexts in which a full noun (phrase) would be used.
>
> I think I understand the background that Peter is coming from, but I think
> this issue requires more discussion.
>
> --Kenneth
>
>
>> On Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 6:59 AM Peter Schofield <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hello Olivier
>>
>> Definitely no objections from me. Hopefully, we will then get a standard
>> English appearing across all the guides.
>>
>> Regards
>> Peter Schofield
>> [hidden email]
>>
>>
>>
>>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 12:32, Olivier Hallot <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hello All
>>>
>>> If no objection rises, I'll merge the suggestions in the wiki page.
>>>
>>> Kind regards
>>> Olivier
>>>
>>> Em 27/03/2020 07:28, Peter Schofield escreveu:
>>>> Hello Ilmari
>>>>
>>>> The Style Guide does not cover all my suggestions, mainly use of
>> apostrophe and word contractions. These two items do cause problems when
>> translating English.
>>>> My ideas about paragraphs and sentences are similar to the Style Guide,
>> but I have put a number in the requirement. This does help if writers
>> follow the suggestion.
>>>> Regards
>>>> Peter Schofield
>>>> [hidden email]
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 10:11, Ilmari Lauhakangas <
>> [hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:
>>>>>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I
>> though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
>>>>>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within
>> Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
>>>>>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
>>>>>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the
>> occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
>>>>>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite
>> the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
>>>>>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do
>> not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
>>>>>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on;
>> e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
>>>>>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good
>> start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into
>> other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
>>>>>> Please let me know your opinion.
>>>>>
>>>>> There is a style guide in the wiki:
>> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide
>>>>>
>>>>> Ilmari
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
>> [hidden email]
>>>>> Problems?
>> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
>>>>> Posting guidelines + more:
>> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
>>>>> List archive:
>> https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
>>>>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Olivier Hallot
>>> LibreOffice Documentation Coordinator
>>> Comunidade LibreOffice
>>> Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - Local Time: UTC-03:00
>>> http://tdf.io/joinus
>>>
>>> --
>>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
>> [hidden email]
>>> Problems?
>> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
>>> Posting guidelines + more:
>> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
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>>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
>>
>>
>> --
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>
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Luke (gmail) Luke (gmail)
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Re: Writing techniques

I was glad to see Kenneth's email because I had all the same concerns.
I would assume the English manuals are targeted at English speakers. I
cannot understand why a good translator would have problems with
possessives or contractions.
Clarity and brevity, plus an example or two, would I think generally make
both a reader and a translator's job easier. Done of the suggestions seem
to me to work against brevity.

Just my 2c.

luke

On Sun., 29 Mar. 2020, 03:29 Peter Schofield, <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello Kenneth
>
> Having worked internationally as a Technical Writer, I understand what is
> required to get the message. I have had personal experience of non-English
> people not understanding apostrophes and word contractions. LO has no
> control over who uses our software and writing in Simplified English avoids
> any questions being asked on what does this mean.
> To the best of my knowledge, Simplified English including my suggestions
> was originally created by Caterpillar who have a huge international
> clientele. It works for Caterpillar and also Airbus, so why not LO.
> Regards
> Peter Schofield
> Sent from my iPad Mini
>
> > On 27 Mar 2020, at 20:19, Kenneth Hanson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > Sorry to butt in after being absent so long, but I'm worried about these
> > proposed rules.
> >
> > I agree with rules to keep sentences and paragraphs short, breaking up
> long
> > sentences and paragraphs when possible. On the other hand, I'm uneasy
> about
> > rules like Peter's (1) and (2) stipulating maximum numbers of words or
> > sentences. If the numbers are intended as rules of thumb, they should be
> > rewritten to reflect this. If they are meant to be hard limits, it's easy
> > to imagine situations where following such a rule could make the result
> > harder to understand.
> >
> > Second, I struggle to see how rules (3-5) would make translation easier,
> or
> > whether this is a good reason to implement them.
> >
> > Regarding (4), if a translator's command of English is so poor that they
> > cannot understand common contractions, it seems doubtful that using
> > one-to-one replacements would make all the difference.
> >
> > Regarding (5), if anything I think Latin abbreviations should be avoided
> > for the sake of readers of the English version, for maximum
> accessibility.
> > It appears from the wiki history that this provision was already in the
> > style guide.
> >
> > Finally, regarding (3), genitive possessives are such a basic component
> of
> > English grammar that I worry that circumlocutions would harm readability
> to
> > an unacceptable degree, even if this improves ease of translation. No
> > examples are given, so I don't know what is intended. There are examples
> of
> > cases to avoid possessive pronouns already in the style guide, but these
> > are not contexts in which a full noun (phrase) would be used.
> >
> > I think I understand the background that Peter is coming from, but I
> think
> > this issue requires more discussion.
> >
> > --Kenneth
> >
> >
> >> On Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 6:59 AM Peter Schofield <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hello Olivier
> >>
> >> Definitely no objections from me. Hopefully, we will then get a standard
> >> English appearing across all the guides.
> >>
> >> Regards
> >> Peter Schofield
> >> [hidden email]
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 12:32, Olivier Hallot <
> [hidden email]>
> >> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Hello All
> >>>
> >>> If no objection rises, I'll merge the suggestions in the wiki page.
> >>>
> >>> Kind regards
> >>> Olivier
> >>>
> >>> Em 27/03/2020 07:28, Peter Schofield escreveu:
> >>>> Hello Ilmari
> >>>>
> >>>> The Style Guide does not cover all my suggestions, mainly use of
> >> apostrophe and word contractions. These two items do cause problems when
> >> translating English.
> >>>> My ideas about paragraphs and sentences are similar to the Style
> Guide,
> >> but I have put a number in the requirement. This does help if writers
> >> follow the suggestion.
> >>>> Regards
> >>>> Peter Schofield
> >>>> [hidden email]
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 10:11, Ilmari Lauhakangas <
> >> [hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:
> >>>>>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I
> >> though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing
> standards.
> >>>>>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within
> >> Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
> >>>>>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
> >>>>>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the
> >> occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
> >>>>>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s).
> Rewrite
> >> the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
> >>>>>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do
> >> not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
> >>>>>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so
> on;
> >> e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
> >>>>>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good
> >> start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into
> >> other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
> >>>>>> Please let me know your opinion.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> There is a style guide in the wiki:
> >>
> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Ilmari
> >>>>>
> >>>>> --
> >>>>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> >> [hidden email]
> >>>>> Problems?
> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
> >>>>> Posting guidelines + more:
> >> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
> >>>>> List archive:
> >> https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
> >>>>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Olivier Hallot
> >>> LibreOffice Documentation Coordinator
> >>> Comunidade LibreOffice
> >>> Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - Local Time: UTC-03:00
> >>> http://tdf.io/joinus
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> >> [hidden email]
> >>> Problems?
> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
> >>> Posting guidelines + more:
> >> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
> >>> List archive:
> https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
> >>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> [hidden email]
> >> Problems?
> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
> >> Posting guidelines + more:
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> >>
> >
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Peter Schofield-3 Peter Schofield-3
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Re: Writing techniques

I have worked in Simplified English since 1986 and with translators since 1998. I still write in a Simplified English style because I find that it produces very clear text for users and translators find it easy to translate.

I suggested the “never” rules from my experiences in technical writing. It will produce clear text once people get used to writing in a Simplified English style. The drawback is training and editorial control so that writers no longer write beautiful prose. Text has to be as short as possible so that a user understands easily.

Regards

Peter Schofield
Sent from my iPad Mini

> On 29 Mar 2020, at 04:04, Luke Kendall <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> 
> I was glad to see Kenneth's email because I had all the same concerns.
> I would assume the English manuals are targeted at English speakers. I cannot understand why a good translator would have problems with possessives or contractions.
> Clarity and brevity, plus an example or two, would I think generally make both a reader and a translator's job easier. Done of the suggestions seem to me to work against brevity.
>
> Just my 2c.
>
> luke
>
>> On Sun., 29 Mar. 2020, 03:29 Peter Schofield, <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hello Kenneth
>>
>> Having worked internationally as a Technical Writer, I understand what is required to get the message. I have had personal experience of non-English people not understanding apostrophes and word contractions. LO has no control over who uses our software and writing in Simplified English avoids any questions being asked on what does this mean.
>> To the best of my knowledge, Simplified English including my suggestions was originally created by Caterpillar who have a huge international clientele. It works for Caterpillar and also Airbus, so why not LO.
>> Regards
>> Peter Schofield
>> Sent from my iPad Mini
>>
>> > On 27 Mar 2020, at 20:19, Kenneth Hanson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hello,
>> >
>> > Sorry to butt in after being absent so long, but I'm worried about these
>> > proposed rules.
>> >
>> > I agree with rules to keep sentences and paragraphs short, breaking up long
>> > sentences and paragraphs when possible. On the other hand, I'm uneasy about
>> > rules like Peter's (1) and (2) stipulating maximum numbers of words or
>> > sentences. If the numbers are intended as rules of thumb, they should be
>> > rewritten to reflect this. If they are meant to be hard limits, it's easy
>> > to imagine situations where following such a rule could make the result
>> > harder to understand.
>> >
>> > Second, I struggle to see how rules (3-5) would make translation easier, or
>> > whether this is a good reason to implement them.
>> >
>> > Regarding (4), if a translator's command of English is so poor that they
>> > cannot understand common contractions, it seems doubtful that using
>> > one-to-one replacements would make all the difference.
>> >
>> > Regarding (5), if anything I think Latin abbreviations should be avoided
>> > for the sake of readers of the English version, for maximum accessibility.
>> > It appears from the wiki history that this provision was already in the
>> > style guide.
>> >
>> > Finally, regarding (3), genitive possessives are such a basic component of
>> > English grammar that I worry that circumlocutions would harm readability to
>> > an unacceptable degree, even if this improves ease of translation. No
>> > examples are given, so I don't know what is intended. There are examples of
>> > cases to avoid possessive pronouns already in the style guide, but these
>> > are not contexts in which a full noun (phrase) would be used.
>> >
>> > I think I understand the background that Peter is coming from, but I think
>> > this issue requires more discussion.
>> >
>> > --Kenneth
>> >
>> >
>> >> On Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 6:59 AM Peter Schofield <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Hello Olivier
>> >>
>> >> Definitely no objections from me. Hopefully, we will then get a standard
>> >> English appearing across all the guides.
>> >>
>> >> Regards
>> >> Peter Schofield
>> >> [hidden email]
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 12:32, Olivier Hallot <[hidden email]>
>> >> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> Hello All
>> >>>
>> >>> If no objection rises, I'll merge the suggestions in the wiki page.
>> >>>
>> >>> Kind regards
>> >>> Olivier
>> >>>
>> >>> Em 27/03/2020 07:28, Peter Schofield escreveu:
>> >>>> Hello Ilmari
>> >>>>
>> >>>> The Style Guide does not cover all my suggestions, mainly use of
>> >> apostrophe and word contractions. These two items do cause problems when
>> >> translating English.
>> >>>> My ideas about paragraphs and sentences are similar to the Style Guide,
>> >> but I have put a number in the requirement. This does help if writers
>> >> follow the suggestion.
>> >>>> Regards
>> >>>> Peter Schofield
>> >>>> [hidden email]
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 10:11, Ilmari Lauhakangas <
>> >> [hidden email]> wrote:
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:
>> >>>>>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I
>> >> though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
>> >>>>>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within
>> >> Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
>> >>>>>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
>> >>>>>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the
>> >> occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
>> >>>>>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite
>> >> the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
>> >>>>>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do
>> >> not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
>> >>>>>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on;
>> >> e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
>> >>>>>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good
>> >> start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into
>> >> other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
>> >>>>>> Please let me know your opinion.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> There is a style guide in the wiki:
>> >> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Ilmari
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> --
>> >>>>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
>> >> [hidden email]
>> >>>>> Problems?
>> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
>> >>>>> Posting guidelines + more:
>> >> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
>> >>>>> List archive:
>> >> https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
>> >>>>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>
>> >>> --
>> >>> Olivier Hallot
>> >>> LibreOffice Documentation Coordinator
>> >>> Comunidade LibreOffice
>> >>> Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - Local Time: UTC-03:00
>> >>> http://tdf.io/joinus
>> >>>
>> >>> --
>> >>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
>> >> [hidden email]
>> >>> Problems?
>> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
>> >>> Posting guidelines + more:
>> >> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
>> >>> List archive: https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
>> >>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> --
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>> >>
>> >
>> > --
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khanson679 khanson679
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Re: Writing techniques

In reply to this post by Peter Schofield-3
Sorry for the delay. I've waited a few days for comments, and this took a
while to write.

--

I'll start by addressing the comments I received from Jonathon and Peter.

From your responses, I got a better idea of the motivation for some of the
rules. Specifically, Jonathon mentioned that the numbers for sentence and
paragraph length correspond to a 6th grade reading level, and Peter
mentioned and that non-native speakers do indeed struggle with contractions.

Jonathon mentioned that the issue with translating contractions is not ease
of understanding for translators, but has to do with translating
grammatical structure. This still makes no sense. There is no difference in
the structure or meaning of contracted and un-contracted pairs of words, so
the translation is the same in either case. The only exception I can think
of is subject-auxiliary inversion. For example, the question "Couldn't you
do such-and-such", has a different word order from "Could you not do
such-and-such". I suspect that such language (contracted or not) would
already fall afoul of several other guidelines having nothing to do with
ease of translation.

Finally, I can infer from Peter's comments on "never" that the limits on
sentence and paragraph length are meant to be hard limits.

Peter, you have stated repeatedly that these rules worked well in your
professional experience. But this is exactly the problem. Without knowing
the context of these companies and projects, there is no way for anyone
else to evaluate how they compare with this project. Hence my request for a
concrete discussion.

--

Overall, my primary concerns remain unaddressed. I will restate them now.

1. To what extent ought we to prioritize non-native readers and
translation, respectively? More specifically, when should we adopt rules
that risk making material *less* readable for ordinary English speakers?

The current style guide consists mostly (entirely?) of rules that benefit
all readers. Again, I must apologize because I wasn't following the mailing
list for a while, but to my knowledge there is no precedent here.

2. Are rigid rules appropriate? The current style guide leans toward
"guidelines".

I am still opposed to hard limits on sentence and paragraph length, as a
matter of principle. Less is better even when you are under the limit, 7
short sentences might be better than 3 long sentences, etc.

The bans on contractions and Latin abbreviations would probably have to be
strict for the sake of consistency, so I am not counting them here.

Finally,

3. What are the implications of rule (3), the ban on possessives? What
constructions must be replaced, and with what? I don't think it's possible
to decide on this one without this information.

Thanks for bearing with me,

--Kenneth


On Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 11:28 AM Peter Schofield <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello Kenneth
>
> Having worked internationally as a Technical Writer, I understand what is
> required to get the message. I have had personal experience of non-English
> people not understanding apostrophes and word contractions. LO has no
> control over who uses our software and writing in Simplified English avoids
> any questions being asked on what does this mean.
> To the best of my knowledge, Simplified English including my suggestions
> was originally created by Caterpillar who have a huge international
> clientele. It works for Caterpillar and also Airbus, so why not LO.
> Regards
> Peter Schofield
> Sent from my iPad Mini
>
> > On 27 Mar 2020, at 20:19, Kenneth Hanson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > Sorry to butt in after being absent so long, but I'm worried about these
> > proposed rules.
> >
> > I agree with rules to keep sentences and paragraphs short, breaking up
> long
> > sentences and paragraphs when possible. On the other hand, I'm uneasy
> about
> > rules like Peter's (1) and (2) stipulating maximum numbers of words or
> > sentences. If the numbers are intended as rules of thumb, they should be
> > rewritten to reflect this. If they are meant to be hard limits, it's easy
> > to imagine situations where following such a rule could make the result
> > harder to understand.
> >
> > Second, I struggle to see how rules (3-5) would make translation easier,
> or
> > whether this is a good reason to implement them.
> >
> > Regarding (4), if a translator's command of English is so poor that they
> > cannot understand common contractions, it seems doubtful that using
> > one-to-one replacements would make all the difference.
> >
> > Regarding (5), if anything I think Latin abbreviations should be avoided
> > for the sake of readers of the English version, for maximum
> accessibility.
> > It appears from the wiki history that this provision was already in the
> > style guide.
> >
> > Finally, regarding (3), genitive possessives are such a basic component
> of
> > English grammar that I worry that circumlocutions would harm readability
> to
> > an unacceptable degree, even if this improves ease of translation. No
> > examples are given, so I don't know what is intended. There are examples
> of
> > cases to avoid possessive pronouns already in the style guide, but these
> > are not contexts in which a full noun (phrase) would be used.
> >
> > I think I understand the background that Peter is coming from, but I
> think
> > this issue requires more discussion.
> >
> > --Kenneth
> >
> >
> >> On Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 6:59 AM Peter Schofield <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hello Olivier
> >>
> >> Definitely no objections from me. Hopefully, we will then get a standard
> >> English appearing across all the guides.
> >>
> >> Regards
> >> Peter Schofield
> >> [hidden email]
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 12:32, Olivier Hallot <
> [hidden email]>
> >> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Hello All
> >>>
> >>> If no objection rises, I'll merge the suggestions in the wiki page.
> >>>
> >>> Kind regards
> >>> Olivier
> >>>
> >>> Em 27/03/2020 07:28, Peter Schofield escreveu:
> >>>> Hello Ilmari
> >>>>
> >>>> The Style Guide does not cover all my suggestions, mainly use of
> >> apostrophe and word contractions. These two items do cause problems when
> >> translating English.
> >>>> My ideas about paragraphs and sentences are similar to the Style
> Guide,
> >> but I have put a number in the requirement. This does help if writers
> >> follow the suggestion.
> >>>> Regards
> >>>> Peter Schofield
> >>>> [hidden email]
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 10:11, Ilmari Lauhakangas <
> >> [hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:
> >>>>>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I
> >> though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing
> standards.
> >>>>>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within
> >> Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
> >>>>>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
> >>>>>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the
> >> occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
> >>>>>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s).
> Rewrite
> >> the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
> >>>>>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do
> >> not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
> >>>>>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so
> on;
> >> e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
> >>>>>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good
> >> start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into
> >> other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
> >>>>>> Please let me know your opinion.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> There is a style guide in the wiki:
> >>
> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Ilmari
> >>>>>
> >>>>> --
> >>>>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> >> [hidden email]
> >>>>> Problems?
> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
> >>>>> Posting guidelines + more:
> >> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
> >>>>> List archive:
> >> https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
> >>>>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Olivier Hallot
> >>> LibreOffice Documentation Coordinator
> >>> Comunidade LibreOffice
> >>> Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - Local Time: UTC-03:00
> >>> http://tdf.io/joinus
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> >> [hidden email]
> >>> Problems?
> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
> >>> Posting guidelines + more:
> >> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
> >>> List archive:
> https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
> >>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> [hidden email]
> >> Problems?
> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
> >> Posting guidelines + more:
> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
> >> List archive:
> https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
> >> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
> >>
> >
> > --
> > To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> [hidden email]
> > Problems?
> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/
> > Posting guidelines + more:
> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
> > List archive: https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/
> > Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy
>

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Peter Schofield-3 Peter Schofield-3
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Re: Writing techniques

Hello Kenneth

Potted international history for you so that you can understand where I am coming from and the reasoning behind the suggested rules.

First came across Simplified English in 1986 when I started with Airbus. This is now an international standard for the aviation industry. Documents in English had to be written so that users whose mother tongue is not English have better understanding of what is written.
South Africa where the guides were written in English and Afrikaans. A version of Simplified English was used for easier translation.
Libya for very large construction project where documents had to be translated into Arabic and Simplified English was used.
Sweden and Netherlands for Ericsson who have their own writing style guide that included a dictionary of words you had to use and could not use (for example: "in order to" no “to" yes). This was based on Simplified English, but not sure what it was based on.
Worked in UK for an international company whose documents were translated into all European languages, as well as Arabic and Hebrew. Again a version of Simplified English was used for ease of translation.

My whole career has been Simplified English and have always had good comments from the people who used my services. This also included repeat contracts.

I will be going through the LO style writing guide and create a draft document for review and comment. That is when I have a little more time after completing version 6.4 of the Draw Guide. It would be great if all the volunteers wrote in the same style because it produce a more professional look to the LO guides.

I understand some concerns about my suggestions, but they do work. Once you change your mind set and get used to Simplified English, you will find that guides are more readily accepted by users as they are easier to use in my opinion and experience.

I will be honest that I occasionally divert from the Simplified English path, but never break the rules on contractions and possessive apostrophes.

Regards
Peter Schofield
[hidden email]



> On 1 Apr 2020, at 00:37, Kenneth Hanson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Sorry for the delay. I've waited a few days for comments, and this took a while to write.
>
> --
>
> I'll start by addressing the comments I received from Jonathon and Peter.
>
> From your responses, I got a better idea of the motivation for some of the rules. Specifically, Jonathon mentioned that the numbers for sentence and paragraph length correspond to a 6th grade reading level, and Peter mentioned and that non-native speakers do indeed struggle with contractions.
>
> Jonathon mentioned that the issue with translating contractions is not ease of understanding for translators, but has to do with translating grammatical structure. This still makes no sense. There is no difference in the structure or meaning of contracted and un-contracted pairs of words, so the translation is the same in either case. The only exception I can think of is subject-auxiliary inversion. For example, the question "Couldn't you do such-and-such", has a different word order from "Could you not do such-and-such". I suspect that such language (contracted or not) would already fall afoul of several other guidelines having nothing to do with ease of translation.
>
> Finally, I can infer from Peter's comments on "never" that the limits on sentence and paragraph length are meant to be hard limits.
>
> Peter, you have stated repeatedly that these rules worked well in your professional experience. But this is exactly the problem. Without knowing the context of these companies and projects, there is no way for anyone else to evaluate how they compare with this project. Hence my request for a concrete discussion.
>
> --
>
> Overall, my primary concerns remain unaddressed. I will restate them now.
>
> 1. To what extent ought we to prioritize non-native readers and translation, respectively? More specifically, when should we adopt rules that risk making material *less* readable for ordinary English speakers?
>
> The current style guide consists mostly (entirely?) of rules that benefit all readers. Again, I must apologize because I wasn't following the mailing list for a while, but to my knowledge there is no precedent here.
>
> 2. Are rigid rules appropriate? The current style guide leans toward "guidelines".
>
> I am still opposed to hard limits on sentence and paragraph length, as a matter of principle. Less is better even when you are under the limit, 7 short sentences might be better than 3 long sentences, etc.
>
> The bans on contractions and Latin abbreviations would probably have to be strict for the sake of consistency, so I am not counting them here.
>
> Finally,
>
> 3. What are the implications of rule (3), the ban on possessives? What constructions must be replaced, and with what? I don't think it's possible to decide on this one without this information.
>
> Thanks for bearing with me,
>
> --Kenneth
>
>
> On Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 11:28 AM Peter Schofield <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
> Hello Kenneth
>
> Having worked internationally as a Technical Writer, I understand what is required to get the message. I have had personal experience of non-English people not understanding apostrophes and word contractions. LO has no control over who uses our software and writing in Simplified English avoids any questions being asked on what does this mean.
> To the best of my knowledge, Simplified English including my suggestions was originally created by Caterpillar who have a huge international clientele. It works for Caterpillar and also Airbus, so why not LO.
> Regards
> Peter Schofield
> Sent from my iPad Mini
>
> > On 27 Mar 2020, at 20:19, Kenneth Hanson <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > Sorry to butt in after being absent so long, but I'm worried about these
> > proposed rules.
> >
> > I agree with rules to keep sentences and paragraphs short, breaking up long
> > sentences and paragraphs when possible. On the other hand, I'm uneasy about
> > rules like Peter's (1) and (2) stipulating maximum numbers of words or
> > sentences. If the numbers are intended as rules of thumb, they should be
> > rewritten to reflect this. If they are meant to be hard limits, it's easy
> > to imagine situations where following such a rule could make the result
> > harder to understand.
> >
> > Second, I struggle to see how rules (3-5) would make translation easier, or
> > whether this is a good reason to implement them.
> >
> > Regarding (4), if a translator's command of English is so poor that they
> > cannot understand common contractions, it seems doubtful that using
> > one-to-one replacements would make all the difference.
> >
> > Regarding (5), if anything I think Latin abbreviations should be avoided
> > for the sake of readers of the English version, for maximum accessibility.
> > It appears from the wiki history that this provision was already in the
> > style guide.
> >
> > Finally, regarding (3), genitive possessives are such a basic component of
> > English grammar that I worry that circumlocutions would harm readability to
> > an unacceptable degree, even if this improves ease of translation. No
> > examples are given, so I don't know what is intended. There are examples of
> > cases to avoid possessive pronouns already in the style guide, but these
> > are not contexts in which a full noun (phrase) would be used.
> >
> > I think I understand the background that Peter is coming from, but I think
> > this issue requires more discussion.
> >
> > --Kenneth
> >
> >
> >> On Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 6:59 AM Peter Schofield <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hello Olivier
> >>
> >> Definitely no objections from me. Hopefully, we will then get a standard
> >> English appearing across all the guides.
> >>
> >> Regards
> >> Peter Schofield
> >> [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 12:32, Olivier Hallot <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>>
> >> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Hello All
> >>>
> >>> If no objection rises, I'll merge the suggestions in the wiki page.
> >>>
> >>> Kind regards
> >>> Olivier
> >>>
> >>> Em 27/03/2020 07:28, Peter Schofield escreveu:
> >>>> Hello Ilmari
> >>>>
> >>>> The Style Guide does not cover all my suggestions, mainly use of
> >> apostrophe and word contractions. These two items do cause problems when
> >> translating English.
> >>>> My ideas about paragraphs and sentences are similar to the Style Guide,
> >> but I have put a number in the requirement. This does help if writers
> >> follow the suggestion.
> >>>> Regards
> >>>> Peter Schofield
> >>>> [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> On 27 Mar 2020, at 10:11, Ilmari Lauhakangas <
> >> [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Peter Schofield kirjoitti 27.3.2020 klo 10.23:
> >>>>>> After going through the meeting notes (which I could not attend), I
> >> though that it maybe a good idea to air my views about writing standards.
> >>>>>> The following ideas come from my experience in working within
> >> Simplified English rules when I worked for Airbus and Ericcson.
> >>>>>> 1. Paragraphs no more the six sentences long.
> >>>>>> 2. Sentences should only contain a maximum of 20 words, with the
> >> occasional sentence allowed to be 25 words.
> >>>>>> 3. Never use the possessive apostrophe (for example Peter’s). Rewrite
> >> the sentence to remove the need for a possessive apostrophe.
> >>>>>> 4. Never use contractions of words (for example: don’t becomes do
> >> not; won’t becomes will not, and so on)
> >>>>>> 5. Never use Latin abbreviations (for example: etc becomes and so on;
> >> e.g. becomes for example; i.e. becomes that is).
> >>>>>> There are many more rules, but the above basic rules are a good
> >> start. They are designed to make English text easier to translate into
> >> other languages and that is why it is called Simplified English.
> >>>>>> Please let me know your opinion.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> There is a style guide in the wiki:
> >> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide <https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/DocumentationTeamInfo/StyleGuide>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Ilmari
> >>>>>
> >>>>> --
> >>>>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> >> [hidden email] <mailto:documentation%[hidden email]>
> >>>>> Problems?
> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/ <https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/>
> >>>>> Posting guidelines + more:
> >> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette <https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette>
> >>>>> List archive:
> >> https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/ <https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/>
> >>>>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy <https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Olivier Hallot
> >>> LibreOffice Documentation Coordinator
> >>> Comunidade LibreOffice
> >>> Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - Local Time: UTC-03:00
> >>> http://tdf.io/joinus <http://tdf.io/joinus>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> To unsubscribe e-mail to:
> >> [hidden email] <mailto:documentation%[hidden email]>
> >>> Problems?
> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/ <https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/>
> >>> Posting guidelines + more:
> >> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette <https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette>
> >>> List archive: https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/ <https://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/documentation/>
> >>> Privacy Policy: https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy <https://www.documentfoundation.org/privacy>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> To unsubscribe e-mail to: [hidden email] <mailto:documentation%[hidden email]>
> >> Problems?
> >> https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/ <https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/>
> >> Posting guidelines + more: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette <https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette>
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> >>
> >
> > --
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> > Problems? https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/ <https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/how-to-unsubscribe/>
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