The Power Switch

by John Walker
25th July 1994

The following was written as a parody of the writing style one seems to encounter more and more in computer hardware and software manuals. I refer to this kind of prose as “moose/aluminium baseball bat“ because it summons to my mind an image of beating an adult bull moose to death with an aluminium baseball bat. It's the result of carrying two originally worthy goals—avoiding extensive cross-references to make each section understandable by itself and avoiding ambiguities due to incomplete description—to the point of absurdity, where the reader is assumed to have the attention span of a sand flea and the logical deductive power of a sea slug. The one- and two-sentence paragraph is another hallmark of this style.



The “Power” switch is used to control whether power flows to the computer.

To turn the computer on, place the Power switch in the “On” position.

To turn the computer off, place the Power switch in the “Off” position.

If you leave the Power switch in its current position, the computer will remain on if it is already on (Power switch in the “On” position) or off it is already off (Power switch in the “Off” position).

If the computer is unplugged, the Power switch has no effect. However, if the Power switch is placed in the “On” position while the computer is unplugged and the computer is subsequently plugged in while the Power switch remains “On”, the computer will turn on at the time the plug is inserted.

See also: Switches: Operation of, The Power Plug, On Mode, Off Mode.