re: Writing for a particular audience

Subject: re: Writing for a particular audience
From: Stan Schwartz <stanz -at- cam -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2002 15:38:56 -0400

At 9:01 AM -0700 6/7/02, Sean Hower wrote:

to precise???

That's just bad....that's worse than bad. ick

Are you saying that using precise as a verb is a standard usage at your company? Yeah, I'm wondering about the illiterati who came up with that invention too. I read your example, and I kind of get the usage.....but why.....

Weird isn't it? It's a nutty world.

I wanted to correct the person but decided that since I was calling to complain about my bill... I never brought the subject up. It happened yesterday so it's fresh in whatever mind I have left.

I had the presence of mind to ask where her call center was located. That's how I found out the term was wide-spread (Toronto and Ottawa, Canada)

At first, I thought it might be some new term used by the impersonal, yet friendly, call-centre personnel. A kind of obfuscation or psudo-something... For some, coining a term might be easier and faster than finding, defining, and learning the/a proper one from among so many.

I was calling to cancel my subscription and wasn't in the mood to rally for my view of our beleaguered language or rail against new idioms unless they changed the amount of my invoice. Well, my examples were taken from real-life, so to speak, as was my chagrin over the reason for the call. : )

As Jonathan West recently pointed out, it is a mistake that could be made easily by multilingual individuals. Preciser is a verb in french having contextual similarity with specify, say. That begs the question: When does error (unacceptable and subject to correction) become effect (acceptable and subject to imitation). Both cases are innovative. Impact (used as a verb) comes to mind as an example.


A similar thread on another list elicited this:

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re: Writing for a particular audience: From: Sean Hower

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