Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How To Books...

Suppose you had a dragon and a faery who were destined mates, but they weren't sure how to go about the cross species mating? What to do? I thought perhaps I ought to give them a how-to manual. Of course, how-to manuals can be pretty scary. I've hardly ever read one that made sense. The illustrations are nonsense usually with the important parts left out.

And have you ever noticed that they use big important terms, usually in Latin? Really, why can't they just call a screw, a screw? Too simple? And is it just me--or are more and more how-to manuals being written by people that don't speak, read, or write English? Which would be all right if they weren't aimed at English/American readers to begin with.

Suppose you have a non-native speaker try to explain computers? Perhaps mouse translates to small furry animal, closing windows translates to shutting the curtains, and saving a file comes out put away your metal tool? Then what?

The mind shudders to think what a sex manual would come out like. Not only would neophytes be confused and possibly horrified, but imagine the possible shock when they get to the real good stuff. We wouldn't have to worry about over-population. They'd never figure out how to do it.

Personally, I think every one ought to have to learn how to write a how-to paper. Back in college, our professor called it a process paper. When he handed out the assignment, he flat out told the class he wouldn't accept any process papers on changing a flat tire. He already knew how to change a flat tire, he informed us. He would like to learn something new.

I did mine on changing a diaper, something I was very well acquainted with at that time since I had three children...and something I was going to get reacquainted with because I was expecting my fourth child. Incidentally, I got an A on that paper. Heh. They say write what you know.

Maybe that's the problem. We need more know-it-alls to write the how-to books. Any volunteers?


PS: The Crazy Blog Serial is at Amarinda's page today. http://www.amarindajones.blogspot.com Drop by and check it out because tomorrow is my turn!

1 comment:

  1. I can't agree Zen Queen...how to books suck. I say make it up as you go along. Some of the best inventions happen that way.
    And if Percival you last dragon is anything to go by they will do just fine