Re: Technical editing vs. technical writing? (take II)

Subject: Re: Technical editing vs. technical writing? (take II)
From: Janice Gelb <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 09:56:27 -0700


Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca> wrote:
>
> Bruce Byfield expanded on my message: <<From the way that
> I've usually heard the term used, a "technical editor" is
> usually a substantive editor, with exertise in the subject
> matter - not just a copy editor. That may or may be implicit
> in your comments, but I thought the point should be stressed.>>
>
> Both roles are important. In our business, it's hard to see
> how an editor of any kind could do a good job without understanding
> the source material to a greater or lesser degree. The additional
> expertise required to go beyond copyediting to do true technical
> editing (which requires knowledge of the subject matter) or
> substantive editing (which involves making sure the material is
> effectively organized, factually consistent, and as easy to
> understand as possible) may sometimes be required of peer
> reviewers rather than editors.
>

This is true to a certain extent but in the environments
in which I've worked as a technical editor, it would be
virtually impossible to be completely familiar with every
product for which I got documentation to edit. I think good
documentation organization and clarity in writing are
standards that can be imposed even without intimate knowledge
of a particular product, although some technical knowledge
is certainly needed.

Also, sometimes I think that there is an advantage to not
having the editor be completely familiar with the product.
Sometimes writers tend to get so intimately involved with
the product and the engineering team that their writing
assumes knowledge about the product or its underlying
technology that the user does not have. An editor who is
outside the product a bit can more easily spot areas
where the writer is making these types of assumptions.

-- Janice



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Want to support TECHWR-L? Get shirts, bags, hats, clocks,
and more from the TECHWR-L Store. All proceeds support TECHWR-L. http://www.cafepress.com/cp/store/store.aspx?storeid=techwhirl

Save up to 50% with RoboHelp Deluxe. Get 2 great products for 1 low price!
You'll get RoboHelp Office PLUS RoboDemo, the software demonstration tool
that everyone's been talking about. Check it out and save!
http://www.ehelp.com/techwr-l

---
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: Technical editing vs. technical writing
Next by Author: Re: Style conventions: Pipelines vs. Arrows, Single step style vs . Sentence.
Previous by Thread: Technical editing vs. technical writing? (take II)
Next by Thread: Permission for linking to Web sites


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads