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RE: Avoiding Cultural Influences

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 13:37:52 -0700
Message-Id: <4.1.19990614133042.021fa0e0@mail.idyllmtn.com>
To: <mburks952@worldnet.att.net>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 01:21 PM 6/14/1999 , Mike Burks wrote:
>Howver, when you are simply passing along non cultural information such as
>instructions or scientific information I would think you would want to be a
>neutral as possible

This is good in theory but there are some matters of style that
play a role in even technical instructions.  I spoke with my
friend Laurie Harrison about this -- she said that my writings
on web accessibility have a very specific _tone_ to them.  I have
a particular style of writing, which some think is "approachable"
but which I just think of as "how I write", that is different
from how Laurie writes, or Ann writes, or Jutta writes, or Charles

Even when communicating technical details, we all have our own
"personality", which can be heavily influenced by our culture.
Take a look at Jakob Nielsen -- sure, he has good content, but
part of why he's entertaining to read is that you can feel a
strong sense of _Jakob_ come through.  An opinionated, stubborn,
intelligent person -- with a European background.  I think his
cultural perspective is more than a quirk in his writing, it's
a tangible _asset_ -- and there would be a danger if we felt
that we had to silence that perspective in the name of greater

I don't want to sound like I'm paranoid and ranting here, I'm
just trying to figure out where we should draw the line between
"increasing understanding" and "promoting homogeneity"?

Kynn Bartlett                                    mailto:kynn@hwg.org
President, HTML Writers Guild                    http://www.hwg.org/
AWARE Center Director                          http://aware.hwg.org/
Received on Monday, 14 June 1999 16:42:32 UTC

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