Ahmed’s Dev-Shop

Necessity becomes formality and then a habit

Posted in authorship, tradition by Ahmed Siddiqui on March 9, 2010

I don’t know when the idea of “Preface” was introduced but I beleive it was a necessity in the first place; to define the context of and to deliver the prior knowledge required to understand the actual discussion. Another purpose of this paragraph could be attracting the reader by defining importance of the underlying topic. But unfortunately –blaming fortune as nobody takes the responsibility– nowadays it’s (a preface top of an essay) going to become a formality or even a habit.

Now we find examples where the “Preface” of a small, two paragraph, How-to article is itself a whole paragraph which often confuses the reader that what it is all about. Yesterday I was searching a How-To on internet and found an exact matching result but when I went to the page, I couldn’t understand what it’s all about, since the user is debating on the history and achievements of the product and trying to convince that his opinion is not biased. I skipped the first paragraph, again it didn’t match the title of the article, I skipped another and found something relevant. Seems the top two paragraphs were the price I had to pay since I were getting the rest of the brief and useful knowledge, free of cost. Or may be the author knows the minimum number of lines/paragraphs for a publication to be graceful 🙂 But for me it’s too ridiculous to be understood.