Re: what to look for in a Tech Editor

Subject: Re: what to look for in a Tech Editor
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 09:40:01 -0400

Con & Yu <dorun -at- m3 -dot- dion -dot- ne -dot- jp> wrote:
>What do companies look for in a technical editor?
>I know this is a tech-writers list but you writers must have a wish list of
>who you would like to work with.

Wish list:

1. Native speaker of standard English (i.e., speaks in grammatical sentences without self-consciousness). Good ear, in other words.

2. Formal grammar learned from an old battle-axe in junior high or high school (college is too late). Knows parts of speech, tense, voice, mood, diction, person, how to diagram a sentence, the difference between which and that, .... This probably means the candidate is over 50.

3. Résumé with no spelling errors or breaks in parallel construction, but _with_ properly set en dashes in date ranges and correct accents on the word résumé.

4. Sense of humor.

5. Desire to be of assistance and service to writers rather than to dominate and intimidate them--and the personality to support this desire.

6. Demonstrated grasp of one or more technical subjects that may not initially be identical to the company's field but at least bear a resemblance in degree of complexity.

7. Some math background (to enable the editing of formulas and equations as well as good intuition about whether the numbers make sense in a table).

8. Comprehension of the exigencies of production--getting the job done on time, knowing what is Good Enough.

9. Sufficient comfort with computers and software to handle electronic editing if required.

10. Did I mention a sense of humor?



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