Up to this point, I have concentrated on accuracy and readability-on how to make meaning as clear as possible, and how to make text as easy as possible to ‘digest’. However, before I finish this discussion of style in general, I want to mention the need to pay attention not only to clarity and readability, but also to the tone of what we write. Tone is created both by what we say and by the way we say it. I expect you would have thought it tactlessly patronizing if I had begun this book or this chapter by saying, ‘I congratulate you on buying and reading this book!’ Yet I met just that patronizing attitude and tone when I read the first page of the book entitled Getting Started that was provided for me when I bought my personal computer:

We congratulate you on the purchase of the ABC personal computing system.