Technical writing – Definition of repetitive

From a technical writer’s point of view, boilerplate is any text that can be reused (sometimes called redesigned) in a number of different documents without much change from the original. It is a copy that a customer often provides that includes information about an organization’s history, facilities, or capabilities. Since these things don’t change, or change very little, it doesn’t make sense to reinvent the information every time it’s needed. All the writer has to do is update and refresh the model and put it where it is needed.

From a programmer’s point of view, boilerplate is sections of code that need to be included in multiple places in a program with little or no change. It is also used to refer to languages ​​that are verbose; when a programmer has to write a lot of code to do a small job.

From a legal standpoint, boilerplate is a standard provision in a contract. It’s why when you buy a house, the contract is twenty pages long and you have to sign here, here, here, initial here, and sign here.

For the word nuts (like me) here’s a little background. The term dates back to a hundred years or so when things ran on steam power. Due to the high pressure inside a steam boiler, the steel had to be hard and thick. Anything big and strong was called repetitive. At about the same time, when printing was done on steel plates that could be used over and over again, text that was to be reproduced widely was called boilerplate. Newspapers, especially, used stenciling so that newspapers could be printed across the country by simply shipping the printing plates to each location.

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