Re: Reference book survey - SUMMARY
Most popular reference books, in order:Interesting. I own several of these books, but I don't think I refer to any of them regularly when doing technical writing. Except for jargon, my vocabulary for technical writing is much smaller than my vocabulary for journalism, fiction, or poetry, so I don't have much use for dictionaries or thesaruses (it would be interesting, by the way, to see a statistical analysis of the number of words used in technical writing compared to other genres, such as popular fiction and academic papers). When I need definitions for jargon, I've come to rely on on-line searches, because often the jargon either won't be in a dictionary or won't be explained in enough detail to be useful.
Microsoft Manual of Style
Chicago Manual of Style
Elements of Style (Strunk & White)
Newton's Telecom Dictionary
American Heritage Dictionary
Webster College Dictionary (various editions, all with the word "College"
Roget's Thesaurus (various editions)
Gregg Reference Manual
Dictionaries and Thesauruses (thesauri?) were listed generically twice
I notice, too, that not a single person referred to any O'Reilly books (at least, not that I saw). I remember one company I worked at where the coders came home from the Atlantic Linux showcase, each with a stack of books with cheap animal clip-art on the cover, and I can't help thinking: there's another difference between developers and writers. I'm not sure that some of those coders ever read a book that wasn't published by O'Reilly.
My fellow whirlers disappointed me by preferring cats. Here are theI notice that none of those who belong to parrot flocks responded at all (I know they're on the list, because a number wrote me when I mentioned our parrots last week). I attribute this to the fact that pets and their people tend to grow alike and, like parrots, those who live with them wouldn't bother cooperating unless they could see something in it for them. :-)
Evil feline beasts - 16
Noble faithful dogs - 12
Pigs - 2
Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com
"The following morning, the headlines were tall,
'Really, it was inevitable,
Mr. Dumpty was drunk when he fell from the wall,
He was already cracked, and shell-shocked and all.'"
- Tommy Sands, "Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed"
Check it out! Get some cool freebies when you buy RoboHelp! You'll receive
SnagIt screen capture software and a 10% discount voucher for RoboHelp
Consulting. This special offers expires March 29, 2002.
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.
Previous by Author:
Re: New TECHWR-L Poll Question
Next by Author: Re: Occupational hazard - carpal tunnel
Previous by Thread: Reference book survey - SUMMARY
Next by Thread: Re: Reference book survey - SUMMARY
Search our Technical Writing Archives & Magazine