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I am getting ready to launch a tech/personal opinion blog slightly more geared towards technical details. What documentation style is best for a journalistic/technical doc style? Thanks.

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migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jan 8 '13 at 17:45

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

Talk like your audience. Write like the tech bloggers you read and admire. Adopt any style you like and can get away with and can be comfortable maintaining in public for the rest of your life if you're successful. The simplest solution is to write like you talk, just because it's easier to remember. Just be sure you can talk well. – John Lawler Jan 8 '13 at 14:37
What Prof. Lawler said. – Robusto Jan 8 '13 at 14:55
Do you have any particular styles in mind to choose from? – Mitch Jan 8 '13 at 15:51
Thanks for all the comments. I get the writing voice part - but I think I was curious in terms of MLA, Chicago or other documentation style when citing sources and such - what's the best format to mimic for a pseduo journalistic site? Chicago? – motleydev Jan 9 '13 at 6:40
@motleydev, this is not a suitable question, because the answer is: whatever you like. There are no rules how to mark citations. You have to mark them and list the source. You can use Chicago, MLA or your own style. It's your blog. Every newspaper/magazine/whatever out there makes its own decisions also. – John Smithers Jan 9 '13 at 10:03
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I always use a simple rule: your style should reflect your intentions. If I was writing a novel, and wanted to describe a room in exquisite detail, I would use a lot more adjectives than if I were writing some code documentation.

Basically, I'd say follow Strunk & White's The Elements of Style and keep your language as straightforward as possible. Since this is a technical blog especially, active voice and "making every word tell" will go a long way.

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