Re: Lingua Franca Today

Subject: Re: Lingua Franca Today
From: kelley <kwalker2 -at- gte -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 14:58:33 -0500

At 11:22 AM 1/15/02 -0800, Andrew Plato wrote:

Tech writing is not the same as writing a dissertation. Maybe you have
found a unique niche writing area that allows you the freedom to use
phrases like "meritocratic individualism" and "lingua franca" regularly.

yes, actually, i just wrote about something the other day and talked about "social dilemmas" and max weber's claim that modern society is "functionally rational, substantively irrational".

it was social science writing, something we often do since we focus on wetware, not hardware and software.

But most of us, cannot use such language because it would alienate
readers, piss off bosses, and worse...lose customers. Something you might
consider, lest you become "dysfunctional for corporate competitiveness in
the global economy."

heh. ya kiddin'? i grew up in a town that saw a downsizing every five years. i don't ever let myself get so specialized or wedded to any particular career. i adapt.

i do consider myself very lucky. i enjoy what i do immensely. i also enjoy teaching, which i still do from time to time. heck, andrew, i enjoyed mopping floors for a summer job when i was a grad student. i'm flexible.

while this wasn't tech writing or dissertation writing, it's what is called didactic writing or, as i suggested, perhaps science writing for an audience like Begley is expected to write for. we also do tech writing, which i enjoy as well, since it uses differently skills. when doing that kind of writing, i wouldn't use the term--as i already noted.

i didn't ask for help on with the question of whether i should use lingua franca or not. the client liked the term and asked for a brief tutorial on what it meant. i asked something else altogether and got interesting responses from folks. (thanks, btw!). i know the client, i know what they want, they're my account. just as you get to know your clients and what they want. after working with them for two years, their my account entirely, i generally know what they want. had just one person in the group of three asked me to ditch the phrase, i would have plain and simple. she didn't ask for that though. she asked for a brief tutorial on the origins of the word lingua franca.

i guess i bring your attitude about doing what the clients want to my work. i write for them. i do what we're contracted to do. it's a point you keep refusing to acknowledge, that this is the writing that this particular client wants and this project demands.

i don't know andrew, but our clients are fortune 50s, so there is a market for it and the contracts get renewed year after year. there isn't a big market, but there is one. as the owner says, when it stops being fun, we ain't doing it anymore!

we're flexible like that! :)

Good luck.

thanks. and you too!


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Re: Lingua Franca Today: From: Andrew Plato

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