RE: Writing Skills - Importance Of?

Subject: RE: Writing Skills - Importance Of?
From: "Higgins, Lisa" <LHiggins -at- carrieraccess -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 13:27:29 -0700

Anthony Markatos [mailto:tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com]:
> Chuck Martin said:
> .....I have seen well-managed projects that turned out crappy docs because

> the writing was so horrible, from dense, user-unfriendly
> information to bad grammar that obscured the meaning and the message.
> Tony Markatos replys:
> Wow! I have never seen such happen - fifteen years experience. Nor have
> heard of such - and I know a lot of tech communicators. Its a mystery!

Well, I feel the need to chip in now. I've seen it. I've seen it quite a
bit, as a matter of fact. I see writing that is convoluted, awkward,
ambiguous, inaccessible and painful to read. I suspect that the reason it
rarely comes up is that your Average Joe probably doesn't really trust his
judgement about writing style, and may just believe that the product is
incredibly complex or he's incredibly dense.

When I was a kid, I used to save comic strips I didn't really get. I assumed
that they were probably very funny and sophisticated, and I just couldn't
wait to get old and wise enough to understand them. I amassed quite an
impressive collection of stupid comic strips by the time that I realized
that the reason I didn't get them was that they were inane and unfunny. I
suspect that the same thing is happening all around us with technical
documentation that's so dense, arcane, and twisted that it's virtually
impossible to figure out what the writer's talking about.

You may be in an industry where this is not so common, but I see it all the


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