RE: being too picky?

Subject: RE: being too picky?
From: "Rock, Megan" <Megan -dot- Rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 13:12:57 -0400

Amy Probst said:
> I'm brand new as a technical writer, but I've been a human
> being for a while now. IMHO, screw your penchant for
> grammatical gradation, and write simply in the fashion most
> understandable to your reader.

I think this is probably at the root of my earlier contemplations. In some
cases, I believe that the SME who has reviewed or written the draft does
know best what the audience needs to know and how the content should be
worded in order for them to best understand it.

When I come in and "clarify" by rewording things to make it flow in a way
that sounds better to me or seems more pleasing from a grammatical
standpoint, I run the risk of altering what the SME meant in the first

In the case of the definition for MFDC, I knew that if I used the definition
the editor wanted me to use and then gave the final draft to the SME, it was
pretty likely he wouldn't catch the slight variations unless I pointed them
out to him ahead of time. (This is the guy who accidentally left the word
"not" out of a possible cause in a troubleshooting section, so I know that
even our final technical reviews are error-prone. Fortunately, I caught
that mistake and put in the "not" before I handed over the manual for final
review and sign-off.)

Megan E. Rock
Technical Writer
Product Information
megan -dot- rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com

All views expressed are entirely my own and are not necessarily shared
by my friends, co-workers, or employer.

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