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- Hazards of Poorly Written Technical Documentation - December 26, 2016
Here is an example:
“Kik-Step Stools – Kick it and it rolls. Step on it and it locks. Clever spring-mounted retractable casters take this handy steel stool wherever you need it…”
ACTION verbs in the IMPERATIVE mode — kick it, step on it… it tells you exactly what you should be doing. Nothing is left to chance here.
It addresses YOU – “wherever you need it…”
You hear the music? “Kick it and it rolls. Step on it and it locks.”
Just when you’re wondering if this thing that OBEYS your commands is actually ALIVE, the writer anticipates your subliminal question — “CLEVER spring-mounted retractable casters…”
Ladies and gentlemen: this thing is not a dumb stool. It’s a CLEVER stool. It will obey you and make you HAPPY. It’s an obedient puppy in the shape of a stool.
See how deep good copy penetrates? If the writer who wrote this copy is giving a workshop, take it.