Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals
A survey of style and grammatical metaphor
Inger Lassen | Aalborg University
Netlibrary e-Book – Not for resale
Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals is written for an audience with a general interest in readability studies, linguistics and technical writing. With the main emphasis on technical manuals the book is primarily targeted at those who have a special interest in the design and use of utility texts and how these texts are received and understood by a multifaceted audience. Accessibility is not a new research area and many explanations have been offered over the past years as to why non-experts often have difficulties in comprehending texts written by technological experts. This book offers a new approach to accessibility studies by exploring not only style, but also attitudes to style, by asking text consumers which style they prefer for different parts of the manual. A key role is played by the Systemic Functional Linguistics' notion of grammatical metaphor, a stylistic choice that is commonly used in technical literature. Grammatical metaphor — although apparently obstructing the comprehension process of some readers — is a common element in the preferred style that separates the ‘insiders’ from the ‘outsiders’. An explanation of this rather surprising result is offered by resorting to Critical Discourse Analysis.
[Document Design Companion Series, 4] 2003. xviii, 183 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Preface | p. xi
Introduction | p. xiii
1. Research disciplines and methods | pp. 1–5
2. Field, tenor and mode dimensions | pp. 7–16
3. Register analysis | pp. 17–63
4. Categorizing text through genre analysis | pp. 65–78
5. Research methods and survey | pp. 79–126
6. Information structure | pp. 127–143
7. The technical manual as social semiotic | pp. 145–160
8. Discussion and conclusions | pp. 161–167
References | pp. 169–174
Appendix: Survey of writing style in technical manuals | pp. 175–177
Name index | pp. 179–180
Subject index | pp. 181–183
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Main BIC Subject
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General