RE: Programs for Writing

Subject: RE: Programs for Writing
From: "Marie C. Paretti" <mparetti -at- swva -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 14:34:13 -0400

I use a whiteboard, dry erase markers, and a digital camera. It's easy: write a page on the white board using all the colors at your disposal; photograph it with the camera; upload it to the web, and there you go. Instant manual.

The colored marker thing also gives you a lot more options for highlighting and emphasizing things, just to tie this into another thread - green for menu items, yellow for things people can ignore, red for warnings and smiley faces, blue and black underlining for words I like, and so on.

No, no . . . seriously? I'm "fluent" in Word, Frame, Dreamweaver, WordPerfect, ForeHelp, Wordstar on a Kaypro, and probably a few other things. I use a) whatever tool works best for the job, and b) whatever tool the client wants. Sometimes a & b coincide. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes I can convince the client to adopt a), but more likely I just pound on b) till it fits into the dang square hole.

FWI, we have this argument back and forth in academia all the time. How much "tool" do we teach students and how much "theory" (as in "Every *#!@& program out there has something like templates and styles - find and use them"). Me, I'm heavy on the theory side - if you can do it in Word and *understand* what you've done, you can do it anywhere, I always say - but there's also the "job ad" phenomenon and trying to prepare students for both what they need to do and what HR thinks they need to do. . . Balance, always balance. . . . where's Yoda when I need him?


Marie C. Paretti, PhD
Assistant Director of Professional Writing
Department of English, Virginia Tech

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