Re: Yahoo has no staff tech writers

Subject: Re: Yahoo has no staff tech writers
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 14:47:28 -0400

.On Friday 11 October 2002 13:49, Bruce Byfield wrote:
> .Kevin McLauchlan wrote:
> > .We can be leaders in setting -- and insisting upon --
> >. good examples of the written and spoken word.
> Good luck. Do you really think that anyone is looking to
> us to lead, or will follow if we claim linguistic
> leadership?

Er... no. But then, only the less-desirable sort of folk
are amenable to "leadership-by-assertion". I had in
mind something more profound and effective:

Leading by quiet, competent, *consistent* example.

> I try to be conscientious in my paid work, so that I can
> represent myself and my clients well. I avoid phrases or
> words that seem inappropriate for the context of my
> writing, and I won't use turns of phrase that strike me
> as ugly or unclear. But I refuse to inflate my work into
> an example for the ages.
> > Or,
> > we can let it slide and follow the language down
> > the tubes, defending every abberation as we defend
> > every opinion, as being equally valid and valuable.

> The trouble with this view is that it is completely
> static. It refuses to accept the undeniable fact that
> language changes or that "abberations" are one of the
> mechanisms for change. For me,this refusal means getting
> caught up in an imaginary situation that has little
> relation to reality.

Not every abberation sticks. I'm not saying I support
a cast-in-resin, line-in-the-sand approach. I'm saying
that we should be thoughtful about this stuff, and pick
our battles. In many cases, nothing is lost and something
is gained when we modify how we use a word.

But, in other cases, information or utility is lost, and it
is worth attempting to stave off such losses.

> Prescriptive grammarians have seen every change for
> centuries as a degeneration of the language. Yet,
> somehow, English survives and thrives,and great writing
> continues to be produced in the language. But, if your
> view is accurate, then everything's been down hill since
> "Hwaet, we gar-Dena..."

When the onlookers are inattentive, or dull, it can be
an effective arguing tactic to paint the other person's
position as extreme and unyeilding.

But then, I could come back and suggest that you
would have no problem with the recent epidemic of
"grammar overcorrection", where easily-led people are so
fearful of INcorrectly saying "Johnny and me will do it.",
that they say things like "The teacher invited John and
I to stay after the speech." I'm hearing that kind of
nonsense from TV anchors.... Canadian TV, fergawdsake!
A clue is desperately in need of a home.


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RE: Yahoo has no staff tech writers: From: John Posada
Re: Yahoo has no staff tech writers: From: Kevin McLauchlan
Re: Yahoo has no staff tech writers: From: Bruce Byfield

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