Tech-Reading vs. Other Reading

Subject: Tech-Reading vs. Other Reading
From: "R. Johnson" <rjayz -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 10:36:58 -0700 (PDT)

A short while ago someone asked whether tech-writing
enhanced one's non-technical writing abilities. The answer
seemed to be a resounding yes from members of this list.

I'd like to pose a similar question: does the reading of
technical writing enhance your READING abilities with
regards to other types of writing?

For me, the answer is (surprisingly) no. Lately, I've found
that it's very difficult for me to read anything that isn't
peppered with headings, sub-heads, bulleted lists, tables,
graphs, figures, or captions. And this is driving me crazy
because I've always been an avid reader of absolutely
everything--novels, magazines, newspapers, screenplays,
cereal boxes, toilet paper packaging...

I picked up an issue of The Economist the other day, (I
enjoy this magazine because it's informative, provocative,
etc., even though I don't always agree with it's editorial
stance), but I had to quickly put it down because there
were just these columns and columns and COLUMNS of text.
Then I tried to re-read Pride and Prejudice (one of my
favorite novels), and I found myself yearning for the
bullet-pointed version:

* Snitty woman meets rich man.

* Falls for clever man.

* Ends up with rich man.

* Decides that's clever.

Is this normal? Does anyone else have this problem?

Robin Johnson

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