Terminology in The Global English Style Guide: A book recommendation

global english style guideFirst, a disclaimer. I’m recommending this book because I believe it’s a great guide. I don’t know the author or have any contact with him and I’m not receiving any monetary or other kind of compensation by recommending this book. My blog is educational and its goal is to share information that I consider useful.

Trying to go back slowly to posting in my blog, I wanted to share this little jewel that I found when I attended a webinar on terminology (more about it later). They recommended The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market by John R. Kohl.

I bought the book to check what the fuss was about since the speaker said it was a great guide to manage terminology. Indeed, looking at the Contents I saw that the author, who is a technical writer, technical editor, and linguistic engineer and has dedicated much of his time to terminology issues, presented a complete guide on how to improve terminology management in original documents to facilitate translation. So, if you are curious, I transcribe below the contents of the section on terminology. I will also include the book in my terminology Readings.

Chapter 9: Eliminating Undesirable Terms and Phrases

Introduction to Controlling Terminology: Tools for Controlling Terminology, Where to Store Deprecated Terms, Researching Terminology Issues

9.1 Eliminate trademark violations

9.2 Eliminate obsolete terms

9.3 Eliminate internal terms

9.4 Eliminate text strings that indicate errors in a source file

9.5 Eliminate repeated words and phrases

9.6 Eliminate incorrect technical terms

9.7 Eliminate variant spellings

9.8 Eliminate orthographic variants

9.9 Eliminate terms from other varieties of English

9.10 Eliminate obscure foreign words

9.11 Eliminate unnecessary Latin abbreviations

9.12 Eliminate other non-technical abbreviations

9.13 Eliminate clipped terms

9.14 Eliminate certain contractions

9.15 Eliminate unusual non-technical words

9.16 Eliminate other unnecessary synonyms

9.17 Eliminate wordy phrases

9.18 Eliminate idioms

9.19 Eliminate certain idiomatic phrasal verbs

9.20 Eliminate colloquialisms

9.21 Eliminate metaphors

Related Guidelines

It’s a 23-page short guide that I believe could be useful, both for authors, translators and terminologists. The book has 310 pages and, as the back cover says it’s a “detailed, example-driven guide [that] illustrates how much technical communicators can do to make written texts more suitable for a global audience” and shows you “how to write documentation that is optimized for non-native speakers of English, translators… as well as for native speakers of English”.

If you want to know more about the author, the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) interviewed him. You can read the interview here.

I also found a slideshare about the book here. Slide 16 contains two examples of terms explained in the guide.

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