Following up last week’s question about reading writing/grammar guides, this week, we’re expanding the question….
Scenario: You’ve just bought some complicated gadget home . . . do you read the accompanying documentation? Or not?
Do you ever read manuals?
Anything at all?
I will usually read the documentation out of sympathy for the writer. I do not usually note corrections and send them back.
How-to books, I have a love/hate relationship with. I do use some as long as they don't try to insult me. (I'm looking at you "Dummies" and "Idiot" guides. I've broken my rule once and regretted it, although at least it's signed.) Lesson #1: If I'm paying you money, you probably shouldn't insult me. Yes, I did take a course in college that I called "Physics for the clinically brain-dead" and it's okay if *I* do it. It's not okay when I'm paying someone else to do it. Even my therapist doesn't insult me, and she could probably get away with it.
Self-help guides, I'm not fond it. They suffer from Jerome K. Jerome syndrome: you read them and assume you have everything described in the book. I like a customized approach to help that takes into account who I am and what my actual needs are.