Re: The Real Offense

Subject: Re: The Real Offense
From: "Angela Pollak" <angela -dot- pollak -at- sybase -dot- com>
To: techwr-l
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 14:58:56 -0500

tsk tsk tsk... didn't no one never tell ya that ya gotta _know_ the rules
afore ya can _break_ 'em & still look smart?

Besides, if all it took to be a good technical communicator was to be an
SME, most of us would be out of a job. It's the writing/communication theory
that makes us different (and more qualified to write) than the SMEs in most

(BTW... haven't you folks heard of co-op education? It mingles theory with
practice... the best of both worlds!)

<DowningLst -at- aol -dot- com> wrote in message news:39218 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-

A few days ago, Andrew Plato lamented the way that some tech writers .

<<Rather than actually writing, obsess over HOW to write (structure,
format, organize, etc.) Rather than struggle to understand a complex
worry about HOW to organize the pitiful information available into a system
that LOOKS like you understand.

It is the ultimate employment procrastination defense - rather than be
effective, worry and TALK about being effective. In the process - nothing
useful is accomplished except FEELING like something important was done.>>

I agree that lots of writer are guilty of anguishing over theory,
methodology, and technique, at the expense of getting their work done. I've
even committed that offense a number of times. However, Andrew seemed to be
accusing these folks of knowingly and deliberately aggrandizing themselves
at the expense of whatever job needs to be done. I think it more likely
that these folks went through some type of academic training program, and
have yet to learn that the demands of a real-world job are different than
those of the classroom In a classroom, you're supposed to examine theories,
methods, etc., while in the real world, you're supposed to get the job done
ASAP. The writers Andrew complains about may simply be laboring under a
mistaken impression of what is the right thing to do.

(If you respond and want me to see it immediately, your best bet is to send
or copy it off-list to DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com)

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