RE: He said...She said...He said...etc. (Was Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!)

Subject: RE: He said...She said...He said...etc. (Was Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!)
From: "Justin Cascio" <justin-paul -dot- geo -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 15:48:13 -0500

> ... the technical writer
> "corrected" the SME's "grammatical" errors in the source code
> examples.
>
> At risk of repeating myself, if a writer or technical editor does not
> understand the content, then he or she has no way of knowing
> whether or not
> their "clarifications" to the SME's content changes the meaning
> of the text.
> Changing keywords, syntax, and punctuation in source code examples will
> result in code that will not compile and will not run. Such a writer
> contributes nothing to a project and undermines the profession in general.
>
> With all of the posts of late about finding jobs in these tough times,
> writers would do well to invest in their technical skills. Take a
> programming class, a database class, or some other class relevant to your
> industry.

Martin (and Andrew, since he's also written something here to the effect
that TWs must know how to program in order to document programming tools),

Don't you think there's some level of familiarity that a TW can have that
isn't enough to write a program in C, but is enough to know that C is a
programming language with its own syntax? The reason your example should
make all of us experienced technical writers gasp or giggle is because it is
an example of *gross* ignorance of the subject matter.

Justin Cascio



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References:
RE: He said...She said...He said...etc. (Was Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!): From: Smith, Martin

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