Re: "wrapper" as a Verb (Java tech writing question)

Subject: Re: "wrapper" as a Verb (Java tech writing question)
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 08:32:54 -0700 (PDT)

--- jsokohl -at- mac -dot- com wrote:
> Tom, I quite agree that asking developers is a good place to go. In my
> case, the developers are on one coast & I'm on the other.

Um, excuse me? They don't have email? telephones? And where do you think Doc and I
are geographically wrt your location?

> of the probs of asking developers is they might say, "I
> know what it means when 'wrapper' is a verb" or "When I said, "The
> developer can OR the logic,' that's what I meant--OR the logic!!!"
> Sometimes the language one person or a subgroup uses works only within that
> subgroup...and doesn't extend to a wider audience. It's the age-old problem
> of "Well, I knew what _I_ meant" that I used to hear when teaching freshman
> English--people who are not writers tend to bring assumptions to the text
> they write, often assuming their not-expressedthoughts are inherent in the
> page they've produced.
> I'm not saying, Don't ask developers. Far from it--I'm a huge fan of user
> research. Still, I tend to also be suspect...

Yes, developers might say all sorts of things, but that's no reason not to ask them.
They might also say, "That's what we hire you for, to make sure we don't sound like
grammatical idiots to outsiders (even in other companies)."

Of course developers are sometimes rude, crude, even testy. And, yes, they can be
experts at what is called writer-based prose (I know what I mean). Again, that's
what we're here for.

At a minimum, I would correct the grammar to something more acceptable to me (as you
have proposed, btw) and send it back to them for review. Then, if the dog don't
bark, you're home free.

The question should be, "Have I changed the meaning of the sentence or paragraph
when I changed the words to something more grammatically palatable?" If I've changed
the meaning, then I need to find something that retains the meaning and doesn't
upset my grammatical stomach <g>. If I haven't changed the meaning--if my audience
still understands the concept I'm attempting to communicate--then my more
grammatically correct expression should be used.

But then that's how I see it.

Tom Murrell
mailto:tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com
Personal Web Page - Last Updated 07/19/02
--The opinions expressed in this email are least I think they're mine...I'm almost positive.--

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