Re: Reading and Editing

Subject: Re: Reading and Editing
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 16:43:35 -0400

Steven Brown wrote:
> I've worked with people who were
> incredibly knowledgable about their area of expertise
> and could talk for hours; but when asked to document
> how to do such-and-such or to explain the nature of
> such-and-such, the results look like the efforts of a
> 15 year-old. It's odd how someone can't simply speak
> and put the words to paper.

Chiming in as another acknowledged subvocalizer (do you hear the
chimes?), I think the phenomenon you are describing simply traces back
to poor instruction in high school--or, more properly, lack of any
instruction in high school--in _how_ to write as you speak. I don't want
to get back on the thread of the appalling state of instruction in
writing; I'm just pointing out that the problem you describe is an
artifact of that, rather than being an artifact of eye-reading versus

I've known eye-readers who were excellent writers. But the difference in
the written product is instructive. There are distinct tells in the way
each group writes. I think in editing other writers's work, we should be
sensitive to these two different styles, even as we strive to attain a
consistent company voice. I suspect this particular dichotomy may be the
source of a lot of teeth-gnashing in the writer-editor relationship, and
simply by noting its existence we can come to an accommodation easily


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Re: Reading and Editing: From: Steven Brown

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