Re: Patronizing - and it was RE: Out of Work Tech Writers

Subject: Re: Patronizing - and it was RE: Out of Work Tech Writers
From: "Steve Arrants" <stephena -at- compbear -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 18:00:15 -0700

"Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes (EAA)" <Sean.O'Donoghue-Hayes -at- ericsson -dot- com -dot- au>

> I sometimes get that I am being patronizing when I describe to someone how
> to do something, as I tend to describe each step in clear
> "technical-writerese detail". Such as (1) careful with the hot water, (2)
> now you add the coffee....


> Has anyone else noticed this? Is this just a trait of people who are, or
want to be, technical writers?
>Or a conditioned reflex that develops over time from doing a job where we
> are "constantly" expected to explain in simple terms exactly what people
> should do - whether the task be simple or complex?

Oh yes, yes. I took a fiction writing class at the extension college here
in Sonoma county (CA). The
first criticisms I got was that my chapter read like a printer manual. I
had to unlearn the way I normally write
as a technical writer. You don't tell everything in fiction if you want
people to keep reading. Dry and complete might
be good for a chip installation guide; for a mystery, though, you end up
killing your audience.
A humbling experience, to be sure.

steve arrants Certified Cruelty Free
"The dream was marvelous, but the terror was great.
We must treasure the dream, whatever the terror."

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Patronizing - and it was RE: Out of Work Tech Writers: From: Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes (EAA)

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