Dan Price (thwack) wrote,
Dan Price
thwack

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A few annoying things...

HYUNDAI 512MB PC133 SDRAM 64Mx4 W/HEAT SPREADER

I was searching for places to buy RAM and came across that link, and immediately thought, what do all these memory specifications have to do with a Hyundai Wheat Spreader? Isn't that some sort of farming equipment or something? Then I clicked the link and realized there was a slash in there... meaning "with heat spreader".

Using the w/ abbreviation for "with" just doesn't make sense to me. By saving two keystrokes, you can make your readers have to do more work to comprehend what you wrote. I can see using w/o for "without" because then you're saving 4 keystrokes - more than half the word. But even if you're going to use w/, by all means, don't do it in upper-case or without a space after it to separate it from the next word!

Another thing that bugs me is the way writers use hyphens to insert a sidetrack in the middle of a sentence. There's nothing wrong with doing that, except for when they don't put any spaces around the hyphens, causing it to look less like an isolated sidetrack and more like two hyphenated words that don't seem to make any sense. Especially when the paragraph is full-justified, so there's a lot of space between words...

It can end up looking like this-and I'm only making an example here-causing undue confusion to the reader.
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