Re: Hiring Publications Managers

Subject: Re: Hiring Publications Managers
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 07:09:20 -0500


I agree with you. However Kelley's style is direct. Some people believe it is rude to say what you mean when there is an alternative of being indirect, and those people took offense. Many of those same people take offense at things I write from time to time, as well. Now, personally, I think that's their problem, not yours, Kelley's, or mine. But professionally, I take these occasions as an opportunity to think about writing style, word choice, diction, as it relates to this particular audience--or rather this significant subset of the general audience.

I'm still learining--painfully slowly--how to set forth an opinion on anything more significant than the best way to copy a graphic in Acrobat--without unintentionally hurting someone's feelings. (I have no problem with hurting them intentionally; it's only the unintentional hurting I'm trying to get a handle on.)

This is the same issue we deal with when we discuss localization issues. We've had discussion on this list of whether the US informal, second person style of procedure writing is acceptable in, say, Japan--or even the UK. Well, here we act as if we are among friends and can say what we think without regard for such niceties, but we find out, time after time, that some of our friends are more easily offended than you or I.

As I said, it's an interesting problem in audience analysis. There are days when I raise my dudgeon and refuse to eviscerate my prose to make it inoffensive, and I pay the consequences in terms of vituperative flames. But on days when I want to avoid paying that price, I try to reread what I've written from the point of view of someone with an indirect style. (As I said, I'm not very good at this, but I practice.)


Kevin McGee wrote:

Amazing. From Kelley's description, I would LOVE to work for/with her. Her
tone throughout this entire process has been courteous and thoughtful. Let's
leave the Kelley-bashing off of our next set of priorities, shall we?

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RE: Hiring Publications Managers: From: Kevin McGee

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