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 17:11:43 -0500

Most of the ex-military TWs I've run across don't fit this description at
all--they've been inflexible, patronizing, prone to quantity rather than
quality, overly fond of passive voice and bureaucatese, and unwilling to
learn and use new technology.

Connie Giordano

Really? My experience was just the opposite? In the late eighties and early
nineties there was a definite drive for us to get the passive voice and
bureacratese out of military writing. In fact, such language was a dead
give-away that the originator of the memo was either A: lying to you big
time, B: old school, or c: an officer. I personally try to be flexible, as I
did then, though I was never in the position to always be "right" as some
higher ranking people generally are. As far as technology goes, I worked
with Military Intelligence most of the time so we had the bleeding edge toys
(yes, I know Military Intelligence is an oxy-moron). ;-)

I find it especially surprising that you feel ex-military are unwilling to
learn. I easily spent eighty percent of my entire six years in the Army
training for this and that. My perception is that ex-military should be
willing, ready, and able to adapt more quickly than most. To this day I
rarely go to the mat over document changes because I realize I don't know
everything and someone brutally editing my work isn't going to effect my
performance(or pay)one iota. Who knows, I might learn something from their

Of course you did mention you worked near the beltway, which explains a lot.
Those pentagon types are a whole other breed. I used to hear rumors that
they had lieutenants up there serving coffee for a living.

Charles T. Rich
Technical Writer
Product Development
Follett Software Company


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