RE: Imperatives or not?

Subject: RE: Imperatives or not?
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 08:53:16 -0700 (PDT)

--- Christi Carew <ccarew -at- rangestar -dot- com> wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Tom Murrell [mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com]
> > Subject: Re: Imperatives or not?
> > Regardless of whether or not I would do it the way you are
> > suggesting, Sierra,
> > I would say to your engineer: "Me writer. Me make grammar choices. You
> > engineer. You review for TECHNICAL accuracy and completeness only."
> So if engineers find typos, they shouldn't mention them? If they think a
> sentence might be confusing, they shouldn't mention it? If they think this
> section should come before that one, they shouldn't mention it?
> I don't think so. I treat my docs as (at least somewhat) more collaborative.
> Just as I would mention something about the program or hardware that I
> thought could use improvement, I would also hope that the engineers could do
> the same for me. Not that I'll necessarily follow their advice, but I
> wouldn't discourage it based on their job title.
> Christi Carew

No, I wouldn't refuse any attempted proofing an SME tried to do. I've accepted
such input in the past.

What I am saying is that I don't submit my editorial decisions to people who
aren't qualified to collaborate in them. SMEs get to approve the technical
content, and that's where I want their focus to be. We can discuss the
editorial portion of the document, if they can convince me they're qualified to
take my time with it. (Mostly, they don't bother.)

However, editorial decisions are mine, not the SMEs. I think I'm wasting the
SME's time if I try to convince them that the tense, case, or punctuation I'm
using is more correct than what they are advocating. But I'm not going to waste
my time, or the SME's time, arguing about something that is both my area of
expertise and my job.

If that makes me an uncooperative curmudgeon, I can live with that.

Tom Murrell
Senior Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com

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