TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:RE: being too picky? (long) From:"John Locke" <mail -at- freelock -dot- com> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Fri, 23 Jun 2000 08:40:42 -0700
Megan Rock wonders...
[Sometimes I wonder if we writers are too picky. I think we tend to see the
different "possible interpretations" because we understand and are
fascinated with language and communication, but if the SME doesn't think
there is any room for the reader to misunderstand, will the user pick up on
the different possible interpretations we writers see?]
This deserves an Andrew-like response:
KNOW THY PRODUCT!!!
Understanding what you're writing about is essential to getting the work
done. Find a reference manual appropriate to your industry, ask more
questions, and write the definition yourself.
You're not being too picky here--just too lazy. In your first definition,
MFDC is a control. In your second definition, MFDC is a method. Which is it?
Your job is to find out, through whatever resources you can bring to bear.
Try to find out the answer yourself before bothering your SMEs--they'll
appreciate and respect you more the more resources you bring to your task.
Do a web search, buy a welding manual, whatever.