Imbeciles or Dummies? C'mon

Subject: Imbeciles or Dummies? C'mon
From: Jo Baer <jbaer -at- mailbox1 -dot- tcfbank -dot- com>
To: Techwriter List <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2000 12:28:54 -0600

I just realized that I should have posted this reply to the Tech Writers
list instead of or in addition to the Framers list. (I have also
responded to Mr. Young personally.)

Actually, it was somebody else who was talking about being imbeciles or
dummies. I don't remember which list member it was. I haven't looked at
Sara O'Keefe's book, so I would not presume to comment on it. All I know
about it is that it has gotten good reviews from people on the list. I
use Tom Neuberger's book a lot, and I like it. I have no negative
comments whatsoever about the "For Dummies" and "Idiots Guide" books.

I have no personal or financial interest in Tom Neuberger's book. I
simply find it useful, and I am happy to recommend that as a resource to
anyone who finds the Adobe book frustrating to use.

If I wasn't clear about this, and have offended anyone else, please
accept my apologies. My intent was never to denigrate any other book
that could help anyone understand and use FrameMaker.

Jo Baer
Senior Technical Writer
TCF Financial Corporation

> Brad Young wrote:
> Jo,
> Surely you don't think that the most popular and successful
> technical writing extant can be taken at the face value of its title?
> Surely you have at least thumbed through a copy at your bookstore
> and realized that the "... For Dummies" and the "Idiot's Guide(s)
> to ..." books merely appeal to the feelings of insecurity that we
> may feel normally feel towards technical or cultural fields.
> Just in case you haven't appreciated the usability of this
> genre, just look at the standard frontispiece page that re-
> assures readers that they are not dummies! (Can you imagine
> any REAL dummy even wanting to learn anything technical?)
> OK, ok, so you were only trying to denigrate Sarah O'Keefe's
> efforts in comparison to your offering. But it was an unnec-
> cessary cheap shot that I had to call.
> Better you looked into the extent of the Dummies book and
> recommended your offering as being more extensive or better
> in some specific regard. Or else not taken the cheap shot.
> --Brad Young

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