Re: Hostility towards STC

Subject: Re: Hostility towards STC
From: "Paul Strasser" <paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 14:12:01 -0600

Dick wrote:

>>>A degree from medical school entitles a person to be addressed as
Doctor. You can put on a white coat and run around the hospital and see
patients and look at charts and all kinds of cool stuff. But it takes
some number of years as an intern, resident, whatever, and then
undergoing some sort of rigorous testing or reviewing process (I don't
pretend to know the details) before you really _are_ a doctor, entitled
to hang out your own shingle and treat patients without someone else
supervising you.<<<

How can TWs convince the public (or, at least, potential clients and
employees) that there is a screaming need for A) higher quality standards in
tech writing, B) that certification will fix this problem, and C) that the
extra cost of such certification is well worth it? We're starting out from
a tough position, compared with accountants, lawyers, or MDs. If they're
incompetent, you can lose your money, your freedom, or your life.

Yes, we can all come up with examples of specific work-related writing
failures that result in Bad Things Happening, but they're just not universal
enough to translate into: We're bad off as a society because of poor
training of TWs. Our society will be better if TWs get some kind of
certification. Even among the smaller set of employees or clients, the need
for TW certification just isn't self-evident.

I am not among the unconvinced, of course. Most people can write, just like
most people can take a temperature or deduce that someone who is puking for
hours might be ill. But just because you know some rudiments of physiology
(bone sticking out of skin = bad) doesn't make you a doctor. Know that
sentences are typically smaller than the paragraphs in which they reside
doesn't make you a technical writer.

The challenge is that the population as a whole quite reasonably confers
more seriousness on the matter of compound fractures than fonts. Industry
won't take our self-created Certification seriously until we can demonstrate
that we are solving a grievous problem.

Paul Strasser
Windsor Technologies, Inc.
2569 Park Lane, Suite 200
Lafayette, Colorado 80026
Phone: 303-926-1982
FAX: 303-926-1510
E-mail: paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com

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Re: Hostility towards STC: From: Dick Margulis

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