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On 2011/11/06 4:11 PM, Tom Davies wrote:
We have an opportunity to introduce people to those terms gently but
also to help push the language to evolve a little in a direction we
My preference would be for how-to and read-me as adjectives, not
nouns, in order to help mainstream pedants understand the
documentation.  In titles i prefer How-To and Read-Me in order to be
more consistent with other words written in Title Case.  Obviously
some titles are all capitals and that is probably how HOW-TO and
READ-ME started.

Just because other people, such as MicroSoft, do things badly doesn't
mean we need to continue using their way.  Language evolves.

Hi Tom and everyone --

This is my first time posting to the list. I'm a new reader and user,
but I have a long history and familiarity with Unix and some Linux in
limited technical realms. I'm also a former long-time newspaper copy
editor, used to Associated Press and Guardian style guides, with some
familiarity with Chicago and The Economist and the 90s-era Wired Style

I do understand how HOWTO comes about, alongside README files, and I can
get wanting to help evolve a language, as well as the desire for
consistency. But to me, the primary goal of any document or text for the
general public is common understanding, and I think that is the reason
many style guides are very slow to adapt. Aside from filenaming
conventions, I would suggest using "how to" as a verb, and "how-to" as a
noun or adjective. When starting a sentence or in a section heading,
only capitalize the H. When speaking about a textfile, (again, new user
of LO; I don't even know if these files exist), I think HOWTO is is a
fine exception.

My reasoning is based on Associated Press, but equally on my 'ear' and
'eye'. The AP Stylebook issues only a guideline; while it has specific
citations for a lot of applications, here it is up to the editor to
interpret and implement:

hyphen (-) Hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid ambiguity
or to form a single idea from two or more words.

To me, using the conventional, or mainstream, style form would have
broader ease of understanding; I would rather go old-school than to give
an unfamiliar reader pause and take him away from the content of what he
is trying to digest.


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