Re: The Origins of Techwriting (WAS:Re: Techwr-1 polls)

Subject: Re: The Origins of Techwriting (WAS:Re: Techwr-1 polls)
From: Damien Braniff <dbraniff -at- iss-dsp -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 08:00:16 +0000

> The difference in style between US and UK military manuals may simply be down
> to how the different military minds work. I know that even in the 80s this
> prevailed to a certain extent. When I did a User doc for a sonar system what
> they really meant was a reference manual. We were told that we didn't know
> HOW it might be used (and they weren't telling us) so all we could provide was
> information on WHAT it could do.

As an aside we had a call about a problem they had with the kit and when asked
by the senior engineer what they were doing when it happened he was told 'we
can't tell you' (who need communication?!!). Several weeks later he called
them, told them what they were doing and how to fix it and everything went quiet
on the other end of the line. 'How do you know' came the question and the
engineer had to explain that, having gone through the system (he designed it!)
it was the only thing they could have been doing and not telling him cost them 3
weeks work (they paid!).

Damien Braniff
Damien Braniff
Technical Author
Integrated Silicon Systems Ltd. Tel: +44 28 90 50 4000
50 Malone Road Fax: +44 28 90 50 4001
Belfast BT9 5BS Web:

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