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The Global English Style Guide

Book Description

The Global English Style Guide illustrates how much you can do to make written texts more suitable for a global audience. Accompanied by an abundance of clearly explained examples, the Global English guidelines show you how to write documentation that is optimized for non-native speakers of English, translators, and even machine-translation software, as well as for native speakers of English. You'll find dozens of guidelines that you won't find in any other source, along with thorough explanations of why each guideline is useful. Author John Kohl also includes revision strategies, as well as caveats that will help you avoid applying guidelines incorrectly. Focusing primarily on sentence-level stylistic issues, problematic grammatical constructions, and terminology issues, this book addresses the following topics: ways to simplify your writing style and make it consistent; ambiguities that most writers and editors are not aware of, and how to eliminate those ambiguities; how to make your sentence structure more explicit so that your sentences are easier for native and non-native speakers to read and understand; punctuation and capitalization guidelines that improve readability and make translation more efficient; and how language technologies such as controlled-authoring software can facilitate the adoption of Global English as a corporate standard. This text is intended for anyone who uses written English to communicate technical information to a global audience. Technical writers, technical editors, science writers, and training instructors are just a few of the professions for which this book is essential reading. Even if producing technical information is not your primary job function, the Global English guidelines can help you communicate more effectively with colleagues around the world. This book is part of the SAS Press program.

Table of Contents

  1. Praise from the Experts
  2. Inside Cover
  3. Copyright
  4. Content
  5. Preface
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Chapter 1
    1. What Is Global English?
    2. Why Global English?
    3. Benefits of Global English for Professional Writers and Editors
    4. The Cardinal Rule of Global English
    5. Global English and Language Technologies
      1. Machine-Translation Software
      2. Translation Memory
      3. Controlled-Authoring Software
    6. Practical Considerations for Implementing Global English
      1. Prioritize the Guidelines
      2. Build a Relationship with Your Localization Staff
      3. Eliminate Non-essential Information
      4. Insert Explanations for Translators
    7. Frequently Asked Questions about Global English
      1. What is the relationship between Global English and controlled English?
      2. Do the Global English guidelines make all sentences clear and easy to translate?
      3. Does following these guidelines lead to an increase in word counts?
    8. Typographical Conventions
  8. Chapter 2
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Be logical, literal, and precise in your use of language
    3. 2.2 Use nouns as nouns, verbs as verbs, and so on
    4. 2.3 Don’t add verb suffixes or prefixes to nouns, acronyms, initialisms, or conjunctions
    5. 2.4 Use standard verb complements
    6. 2.5 Don’t use transitive verbs intransitively, or vice versa
    7. 2.6 Use conventional word combinations and phrases
    8. 2.7 Don’t use non-standard comparative and superlative adjectives
    9. 2.8 Use the only with definite nouns
    10. 2.9 Use singular and plural nouns correctly
    11. Other Guidelines That Pertain to Standard English
    12. Useful Resources
  9. Chapter 3
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Limit the length of sentences
    3. 3.2 Consider dividing shorter sentences
    4. 3.3 Use a verb-centered writing style
    5. 3.4 Keep phrasal verbs together
    6. 3.5 Use short, simple verb phrases
      1. 3.5.1 Avoid unnecessary future tenses
      2. 3.5.2 Simplify other unnecessarily complex tenses
    7. 3.6 Limit your use of passive voice
    8. 3.7 Consider defining, explaining, or revising noun phrases
      1. An Overview of Noun Phrases
      2. 3.7.1 Consider defining or explaining noun phrases
      3. 3.7.2 Consider revising noun phrases
      4. 3.7.3 Always revise noun phrases that contain embedded modifiers
    9. 3.8 Use complete sentences to introduce lists
    10. 3.9 Avoid interrupting sentences
      1. 3.9.1 Program code, error messages, tables, and figures
      2. 3.9.2 Adverbs such as however, therefore, and nevertheless
      3. 3.9.3 Other short sentence interrupters
    11. 3.10 Avoid unusual constructions
      1. 3.10.1 The get passive
      2. 3.10.2 Causative have and get
      3. 3.10.3 In that
      4. 3.10.4 Need not
      5. 3.10.5 Inverted sentences
    12. 3.11 Avoid ambiguous verb constructions
      1. 3.11.1 Based on
      2. 3.11.2 Require + an infinitive
      3. 3.11.3 Appear + an infinitive
      4. 3.11.4 Has or have + past participle + noun phrase
      5. 3.11.5 Has or have + noun phrase + past participle
      6. 3.11.6 Must be, must have, and must have been
    13. 3.12 Write positively
  10. Chapter 4
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Place only and not immediately before whatever they are modifying
      1. 4.1.1 Only
      2. 4.1.2 Not
    3. 4.2 Clarify what each prepositional phrase is modifying
      1. 4.2.1 If the prepositional phrase starts with of, then do nothing
      2. 4.2.2 If the prepositional phrase modifies a verb phrase, consider moving it
      3. 4.2.3 If a prepositional phrase modifies a noun phrase, consider expanding it into a relative clause
      4. 4.2.4 If readers and translators can determine what the prepositional phrase is modifying, then do nothing
      5. 4.2.5 When necessary, insert a translation note
    4. 4.3 Clarify what each relative clause is modifying
    5. 4.4 Use that in restrictive relative clauses
    6. 4.5 Consider moving anything that modifies a verb to the beginning of the clause or sentence
      1. 4.5.1 Participial phrases
      2. 4.5.2 In order to
      3. 4.5.3 Adverbial phrases
    7. 4.6 Clarify ambiguous modification in conjoined noun phrases
      1. 4.6.1 Consider using identical grammatical structures in each noun phrase
      2. 4.6.2 Consider inserting an article after the conjunction
      3. 4.6.3 Consider reversing the order of the noun phrases
      4. 4.6.4 Consider using an unordered list
      5. 4.6.5 Consider using a compound sentence
      6. 4.6.6 Consider repeating a preposition
      7. 4.6.7 Consider inserting a translation note
  11. Chapter 5
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Make sure readers can identify what each pronoun refers to
      1. 5.1.1 It
      2. 5.1.2 They
      3. 5.1.3 Them
      4. 5.1.4 Its
      5. 5.1.5 Their
    3. 5.2 Don’t use this, that, these, and those as pronouns
    4. 5.3 Don’t use which to refer to an entire clause
  12. Chapter 6
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 Don’t use a telegraphic writing style
    3. 6.2 In a series of noun phrases, consider including an article in each noun phrase
    4. 6.3 Use that with verbs that take noun clauses as complements
    5. 6.4 Use that in relative clauses
    6. 6.5 Clarify which parts of a sentence are being joined by and or or
    7. 6.6 Revise past participles
      1. 6.6.1 Revise past participles that follow and modify nouns
      2. 6.6.2 Revise past participial phrases that follow commas
    8. 6.7 Revise adjectives that follow nouns
    9. 6.8 Use to with indirect objects
    10. 6.9 Consider using both . . . and and either . . . or
    11. 6.10 Consider using if . . . then
    12. 6.11 Make each sentence syntactically and semantically complete
  13. Chapter 7
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Revise -ING words that follow and modify nouns
    3. 7.2 Revise -ING words that follow certain verbs
    4. 7.3 Revise dangling -ING phrases
    5. 7.4 Punctuate -ING phrases correctly
    6. 7.5 Hyphenate -ING words in compound modifiers
    7. 7.6 Eliminate unnecessary -ING phrases and -ING clauses
    8. 7.7 Revise ambiguous -ING + noun constructions
    9. 7.8 Revise ambiguous to be + -ING constructions
    10. The Grammar of -ING Words
      1. Gerund, Adjective, or Noun?
      2. -ING Clauses
      3. -ING Phrases
      4. Some Contexts in Which -ING Words Are Unambiguous
  14. Chapter 8
    1. Introduction
      1. Punctuation and Capitalization as Syntactic Cues
      2. Punctuation and Translation Memory
    2. 8.1 Ampersands
    3. 8.2 Colons
    4. 8.3 Commas
      1. 8.3.1 Use commas to prevent misreading
      2. 8.3.2 Use commas to separate main clauses
      3. 8.3.3 Consider using a comma before because
      4. 8.3.4 Consider using a comma before such as
    5. 8.4 Double Hyphens
    6. 8.5 Em Dashes
      1. 8.5.1 Whenever possible, use a separate sentence instead
      2. 8.5.2 Consider other ways of eliminating em dashes
      3. 8.5.3 Make sure the sentence would be grammatical if the em dash phrase were omitted
      4. 8.5.4 Don’t use em dashes as a formatting device
      5. 8.5.5 Don’t use em dashes to set off cross-references
      6. 8.5.6 Don’t use em dashes to set off definitions
      7. 8.5.7 Don’t use em dashes to set off examples
      8. 8.5.8 Don’t use em dashes to set off non-restrictive relative clauses
      9. 8.5.9 Don’t use an em dash to introduce a complete sentence
      10. 8.5.10 Don’t use an em dash to introduce an -ING phrase
      11. 8.5.11 Approved uses for em dashes
    7. 8.6 Equal Signs
    8. 8.7 Hyphens
      1. 8.7.1 Consider hyphenating noun phrases
      2. 8.7.2 Use hyphens consistently in the noun and adjective forms of phrasal verbs
    9. 8.8 Parentheses
      1. 8.8.1 Make sure readers can understand what parentheses are intended to indicate
      2. 8.8.2 Make parenthetical information grammatically independent
      3. 8.8.3 Whenever possible, put parenthetical information in a separate sentence
      4. 8.8.4 Eliminate unnecessary parentheses
      5. 8.8.5 Eliminate parenthetical comments that impede readability
      6. 8.8.6 Don’t use (s) to form plural nouns
      7. 8.8.7 Approved uses for parentheses
    10. 8.9 Quotation Marks
      1. 8.9.1 Don’t use quotation marks to represent inches or feet
      2. 8.9.2 Don’t use quotation marks for metaphors
      3. 8.9.3 Don’t use quotation marks for technical terms
    11. 8.10 Semicolons
      1. 8.10.1 Don’t use semicolons to separate clauses
      2. 8.10.2 When necessary, use semicolons to separate items in a series
    12. 8.11 Slash
      1. 8.11.1 Submit unavoidable joined terms to your localization coordinator
      2. 8.11.2 Use or instead
      3. 8.11.3 Separate the joined terms with and or with a comma
      4. 8.11.4 Eliminate unnecessary synonyms
    13. 8.12 Slash used in and/or
      1. 8.12.1 Use a, b, or both
      2. 8.12.2 Use any of the following or one or more of the following
      3. 8.12.3 Use only or or only and
      4. 8.12.4 Revise more substantially
    14. 8.13 Capitalization
      1. 8.13.1 Capitalize proper nouns
      2. 8.13.2 Capitalize user-interface labels as they are capitalized in the interface
      3. 8.13.3 Don’t capitalize common nouns
      4. 8.13.4 When necessary, use capitalization to improve readability
      5. 8.13.5 Establish clear lines of communication with localization coordinators
    15. Recommended Reading
  15. Chapter 9
    1. Introduction to Controlling Terminology
      1. Tools for Controlling Terminology
      2. Where to Store Deprecated Terms
      3. Researching Terminology Issues
    2. 9.1 Eliminate trademark violations
    3. 9.2 Eliminate obsolete terms
    4. 9.3 Eliminate internal terms
    5. 9.4 Eliminate text strings that indicate errors in a source file
    6. 9.5 Eliminate repeated words and phrases
    7. 9.6 Eliminate incorrect technical terms
    8. 9.7 Eliminate variant spellings
    9. 9.8 Eliminate orthographic variants
    10. 9.9 Eliminate terms from other varieties of English
    11. 9.10 Eliminate obscure foreign words
    12. 9.11 Eliminate unnecessary Latin abbreviations
    13. 9.12 Eliminate other non-technical abbreviations
    14. 9.13 Eliminate clipped terms
    15. 9.14 Eliminate certain contractions
    16. 9.15 Eliminate unusual non-technical words
    17. 9.16 Eliminate other unnecessary synonyms
    18. 9.17 Eliminate wordy phrases
    19. 9.18 Eliminate idioms
    20. 9.19 Eliminate certain idiomatic phrasal verbs
    21. 9.20 Eliminate colloquialisms
    22. 9.21 Eliminate metaphors
    23. Related Guidelines
  16. Appendix A
    1. Introduction
    2. Example 1
    3. Example 2
    4. Example 3
    5. Example 4
  17. Appendix B
    1. Introduction
    2. Prioritized for Translation by Human Translators
    3. Prioritized for Non-Native Speakers of English
    4. Prioritized for Machine Translation
  18. Appendix C
    1. Introduction
    2. Modal Verb Separated from Main Verbs
    3. Infinitive Marker to Separated from Infinitives
    4. Relative Pronoun Separated from the Rest of Some Relative Clauses
    5. Preposition Separated from Its Objects
    6. Subject of Infinitives Separated from the Infinitives
    7. Subject Separated from Verbs
    8. Verb Separated from Its Direct Objects
    9. Interrupted -ING Phrase
    10. Gerund Separated from Its Objects
  19. Appendix D
    1. Preface
    2. Introduction
    3. What Are Syntactic Cues?
    4. Benefits of Syntactic Cues
      1. Facilitating analysis
      2. Facilitating prediction
      3. Resolving ambiguities
      4. Benefits of syntactic cues for non-native speakers of English
    5. Caveat Scriptor: Let the Writer Beware!
    6. Considerations Regarding the Use of Syntactic Cues
      1. There are different degrees of ambiguity and of sensitivity to ambiguity
      2. Context does not prevent misreading
      3. The reading process differs according to purpose
      4. For some types of texts, syntactic cues might not be very helpful
    7. Integrating Syntactic Cues into Your Documentation Processes
    8. Conclusion
  20. Glossary
  21. Bibliography
  22. Index
  23. Accelerate Your SAS Knowledge with SAS Books