Funny user guide

User guide for a vegetable cutter

Here’s an example of where a technical writer could have helped in the presentation, sale and support of a product. These instructions are printed on the box containing a tool which produces pretty twirly strings of onion, carrot, or whatever:

Below is a reproduction of the text. I’ve changed it to mixed case for easier reading:

How to use: Before using this cutter, remove all coverage of the onion etc. and cut the both (top & bottom) insert the rod in between the onion. Then place the blade (funner) on the head of rod, so you move round the threads. Handle it round & round, upto the bottom. You will get the round chips, nice & fine. You can make the chips of potatos, radish, carrot, beet, if you do not need the chips with hole, you hold & grip the article beside the rod. And move the funner blade around up to end you will get a nice & beautiful chips like a chain and cut it centrally.

Note: If the blade is not sharp, make it sharp on the grinding stone only on one side as before. And if other diffect or damage, report to our sales agents or dealers. They will help you. If it is not repairable a new set will supply in replacement of the presented set. Thanks: You can purchase at all crockery dealers & shops

User guide for a torch battery

Here are some instructions I saw on a torch battery:

Do not misuse

Now, we all agree that brevity is best. But if you say anything, make it meaningful.

  1. Nanako Tachibana-Brophy

    *The world that gave birth to the terror tech document

    I can see that the translator had a particular audience in mind – his/her non-English speaking employer, and not the consumers!
    The employer would probably have insisted on checking it him/herself, and, had the translation been “too smoothly English” to be understood by a non-English speaker, may have questioned the translator’s accuracy and abilitiy!
    Too many cases exist where the employer insisted that awkward literal translations of phrases unique to that culture be retained in order to sincerely communicate his message to the customers.
    I kind of like these documents, as they whoosh me out to some far away (non-English speaking) place, to sit next to the poor writer, ripping through the dictionary, translating word for word, rejoicing at coming across words like “beef” and “radish”!

  2. Maybe the devs brought up the text themselves and told the writer to use it “as is, then we won’t need a review”..

  3. This excerpt is not funny in the same way but it makes me smile each time I stumble upon it. It’s used in the safety precautions section in a bunch of similar user guides in the machine industry.

    The danger, warning, caution and important instructions appearing in the instruction handbooks are not meant to cover all possible conditions and situations that may occur. It must be understood that common sense, caution and carefullness are factors which cannot be built into this machine. These factors must be supplied by the person(s) transporting, installing, maintaining or operating the machine. Any problems or conditions not understood should be reported to the dealer, distributor, service agent or the manufacturer.

  4. What could be funner than that?

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