PRESS RELEASE dated 2012-10-29
If instructions are not clear, people can die.
To make sure that instructions are as clear as possible, some companies use ASD Simplified Technical English (ASD-STE100). ASD-STE100 specifies the words and the grammar that are permitted in an instruction manual. For example, a technical writer must not use the verb to carry out to mean to do.
Unlike plain English, ASD-STE100 is a specification. Therefore, a technical writer can evaluate text for conformity to ASD-STE100. Manually evaluating text is difficult. Spelling checkers and grammar checkers are not sufficient. Software can help technical writers to conform to ASD-STE100. However, until now, that software was very expensive.
Now, new open-source software helps technical writers to evaluate text for conformity to ASD-STE100. Mike Unwalla from TechScribe explains the benefit of the new software. "When I try to conform to ASD-STE100, vocabulary is a large problem. For example, I must remember to use attach, not fix. I must remember that sample is a noun, not a verb. I must remember that the customer's term is hard disk, not hard drive. The new software helps me to make sure that I use the terms correctly."
The software is on www.simplified-english.co.uk.