Re: The Big Lie (was 'Are You a Writer?')

Subject: Re: The Big Lie (was 'Are You a Writer?')
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2002 10:41:55 -0800

Stephen -dot- Gillespie -at- Persnet -dot- Navy -dot- Mil wrote:

I've been a member of STC for many years, and I surely have not gotten this
message that Andrew ascribes (to STC).

Maybe it's a red herring to get into the question of how much the STC does (or doesn't) encourage non-technical technical writing. As Andrew Plato points out, universities and colleges also encourage the attitude he's talking about. What really matters is the attitude itself.

However, I wonder whether the main reason for it isn't the influx of Arts majors into the field. As an Arts major myself, I can testify that the science requirements for a bachelor's degree are largely a joke; you can take real courses, but most people opt for the "Biology for English Department Idiots" and "Basic Computers for History Nerds" courses that are designed to take the sting out venturing outside your major (I admit that I did so myself). To say the least, this kind of academic background doesn't prepare you to deal with technology. Personally, I often feel that I'm still playing catch-up.

My impression is that, prior to the early Nineties, technical writers were far more likely to technologically-oriented than they are now. However, I wasn't in the field then, so I can't be sure. Can any veterans on the list comment?

'The Big Lie,' if I understand him correctly, that all you need are language
skills and tool skills, is really (IMO) a half-truth.

Reading this comment sparked an analogy: thinking that all you need are language and tool skills could be comparable to being a marketing expert who believes that, once you understand marketing techniques, you can promote anything.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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Re: The Big Lie (was 'Are You a Writer?'): From: Andrew Plato

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