Re: The bottom line on professionalism in TW

Subject: Re: The bottom line on professionalism in TW
From: "R2 Innovations" <R2innovations -at- myna -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 16:44:31 +0000

Tom Eagles wrote:

> Just as engineers, medical doctors, and even software developers <G> are
> considered professionals, so do we want to be considered. The author of this
> e-mail is concerned about giving our critics the ammuninition they need to
> continue to portray us as glorified secretaries. Furthermore, this debate
> about grammar and spelling really goes beyond the petty one-upsmanship that
> Eric implied the grammar-correctors are guilty of, and should ask us all:
> "are we professionals or not?" I hope this isn't misread as arrogant,
> pompous, or presumptuous, but if WE don't take our profession seriously, who
> else will?
> A carelessly written message that causes your readers to pause on or re-read
> stilted, mistake-laden passages, effectively says that your time is more
> important than your readers' time. Otherwise, as some will undoubtedly point
> out, the reader can (should?) simply click on the 'Delete' key.
> But, saying, "use the 'Delete' key" (itself a wholly selfish attitude)
> ignores the fact that the digest version of lists such as TECHWR-L do not
> display the author's name in the list of messages; only the topic is listed
> (particularly, in the mime version).
I totally agree with Tom. If I, read a post with one or two mistakes,
I think, they must have been tired or in a hurry. When I read a
posting that is full of errors, or doesn't have a single initial cap on the first
word of any sentence, I think how unprofessional _and_ hit the delete
key before reading any further.

While I don't waste time with bickering posts over grammar issues, I
do feel strongly enough about this subject to make this posting. If
we truly believe we are professional writers (and I do) then let's
show it with _everything_ we write. Am I not to be accorded the same
consideration you show the users of your documentation - I'm a user
of your postings, aren't I?

Let's all, myself included, try to be more considerate of those on
the list, treat the members as professionals, and act as
professionals ourselves.

"If you can't spend the time to make it right, then don't write!"

Ralph E. Robinson
R2 Innovations, Specialists in ISO 9000 Documentation

Author of "Documenting ISO 9000: Guidelines for Compliant
Documentation", an APEX '98 Award of Excellence publication.
Email: r2innovations -at- myna -dot- com

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