RE: Seeking advice on English MA

Subject: RE: Seeking advice on English MA
From: "Rich, Charles" <crich -at- FSC -dot- Follett -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 16:55:24 -0500


>The only good writers with an English-type bachelor's degree came out of
this pool -- ex-military. These
>people have a wider variety of experiences and a more eclectic knowledge
base to draw upon. They have experience >communicating with a broad spectrum
of people and can draw the appropriate analogy for the situation they are
>trying to communicate. They have a good "voice", like a mentor explaining a
task to an apprentice.

>John Gilger

Gee, John, where were you about six years ago when I had four years of
college and six years in the Army under my belt? My experience was just the
opposite, people kept scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to
apply my military experience to their needs. I felt like slapping half of
them, after explaining for the umpteenth time that it meant I worked well
under pressure and without much guidance, and I could write in pretty much
any style they wanted to throw at me (in triplicate, of course).
Unfortunately, mainframe/machine operator meant antiquated, and
Non-Commissioned Officer meant absolutely nothing to most employers. I
finally settled into training and technical writing because, as you said, I
was used to explaining things in the simplest terms in one breath, and in
highly technical ones in the next, depending on who I was addressing.

Charles T. Rich
Technical Writer
Product Development
Follett Software Company

Technical Writing = translating what only makes sense to geeks and engineer
types to something the rest of the world understands. Come to think of it,
that's exactly what it was like in the military too, I was pretty much a
walking acronym translator.


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