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The verb “consult” is overused in technical documentation.
Why say “if you don’t have a TV signal, consult with your TV company” instead of “if you don’t have a TV signal, call your installer or the TV company”?
We’re not really “consulting.” We’re just giving them a call. That’s all.
It gets worse when we tell people to “consult” with inanimate objects!
“If the parts don’t fit, consult the parts list in your User Guide.” Ugh!
I prefer: “If the parts don’t fit, check the parts list in your User Guide.”
- get or ask advice from; “Consult your local broker”; “They had to consult before arriving at a decision”
- seek information from; “You should consult the dictionary”; “refer to your notes”
- confer: have a conference in order to talk something over; “We conferred about a plan of action”
- advise professionally; “The professor consults for industry”