Re: Should we hire this guy?

Subject: Re: Should we hire this guy?
From: Tracy Boyington <tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 14:25:07 -0500

> For example, there were instance where "insure" was
> used instead of "ensure". And most of the procedures were in paragraph
> format. I asked about the formatting, and the candidate indicated that the
> format was somewhat structured by the company, but that it was just fine by
> the candidate. Also, passive voice was rampant.

OK, many of us would throw up our hands in horror at first, but is it *that*
important that someone hired for their technical knowledge knows the difference
between "insure" and "ensure"? Unless you're working in the insurance industry,
it seems that would be one of those things you'd just have to expect from
someone who is an SME and not a writer. If you're willing to teach the
technology to the writer, why not teach spelling/using bullets/active voice to
the engineer? Or hire an editor to work with the engineer-writer, just as you'd
expect a SME to work with the writer-writer.

> As someone else pointed out, with current spelling checkers so widely
> available, how on earth can someone let a document leave their hands without
> at least running a basic check.

On the other hand, since you won't find someone who meets *all* of your needs,
the ability to spell may be something you can let slide when hiring the
engineer-as-writer simply because spell checking is so widely available. After
all, there is no "engineering checker" in Word. Not yet, anyway. But you're
right; it *is* a quality control issue that would need to be addressed.

Tracy Boyington mailto:tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org
Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
Stillwater, Oklahoma

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