What She Actually Said

Subject: What She Actually Said
From: Kelley <kwalker2 -at- gte -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 13:42:58 -0500

If you're like me, you don't have Melody's orginal post. Here it is and please do note that what Melody is doing here is trying to rescue the "clerical end" from the dung heap so many would like to consign it to. She is NOT, by any means, arguing that no technical knowledge is required to be a technical writer.

Melody wrote:

> If writing is a form of communication, and the gobbledygook spouting from
> the lips of some scientific, medical, or engineering SME, needs to be
> translated into normalhuman, then 'reprocessing text from an SME' is
> definitely writing, and TECHNICAL writing at that!

> Having worked from the 'clerical end,' in attempting to transcribe the notes
> of a forensic psychiatrist (definitely a subject matter expert), I can tell
> you that KNOWING something, and being able to produce an end product that is
> understandable to its intended audience (in this case, 'normalhumans'), are
> two vastly different things.

Below, Melody agrees with everyone that technical writers should understand the technical ins and outs of what they are writing about:

> I completely agree that technical writers will benefit from picking <
> a niche and learning the (don't hit me, please!) 'lingua franca' spoken <
> therein. One of the best ways to do this is from the 'clerical' end. <

I think she's owed an apology.


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