RE: what to look for in a Tech Editor

Subject: RE: what to look for in a Tech Editor
From: Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- pinnaclewest -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 13:18:42 -0700

Sorry, Dick. I did realize what you actually *meant* in your post, but wanted to clarify it for potential hiring managers -- although perhaps not many such will be reading the list to see what Tech Writers want in a Tech Editor.

Perhaps my post was based on my current wistfulness regarding my current position, from which it seems unlikely I will ever again be a hiring manager, while I watch my current younger boss conducting interviews... I was good at hiring and part of the reason was that I could usually take off my blinders. Notice I didn't claim to not have blinders... and I didn't claim that I was always able to take them off...

However, I do feel safe to say that a hiring manager will do a better job when free from preconceived notions about background, age, gender, race, and so forth.

I didn't post a list of what I want in a technical editor from a technical writer point-of-view because I haven't worked extensively with technical editors. The last time I had a technical editor was about 1986. The bulk of my career I have been either peer-edited or not edited at all. From the point of view of a non-edited writer, I have become so desperate for any level of editing that my standards for it have lowered considerably. :-) In my current job, I'm expected to write perfect drafts ... sometimes with no reviews of any kind.... !

As far as whether or not formal grammar can be picked up past adolescence, I feel unqualified to comment in general. My knowledge of learning theory is slight. I do know that in general subjects are easier to pick up when we are younger, but I do feel as a middle-aged person that I still can learn any subject as well as I did when I was younger. Not as easily, but as well. Although I picked up the mechanics of formal grammar as a youngster, I have picked up as complex of subjects in middle age. Now I have to study harder to "get" the subject, which requires more discipline, but luckily life has knocked me around enough so that I *have* more discipline. <grin>

In addition, my experiences have also taught me that nearly any idea that I have treasured or taken for granted can and will be brought to light as questionable. Oddly, as I slide deeper into middle age I become even MORE open-minded (thus not matching the stereotype that aging brings rigidity.)

Thanks for an interesting topic!

Rose A. Wilcox
CHQ, 17th Floor, 034
Tranz1 QA/Documentation
Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- PinnacleWest -dot- com

Man cannot remake himself without suffering. For he is both the marble and the sculptor.
--Alexis Carrell


Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- pinnaclewest -dot- com wrote:

> If I were a hiring manager again, I would not make any assumptions based on age, even a "probably". I might lose a good candidate if I put those type of blinders on.

Rosie and Lydia,

Just to be perfectly clear, what I included in my wish list (and, by the way, I see nobody else offered a response to the original poster's request for wish lists) was the following:

"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."

The way I read that, my wish was for a person who had learned formal grammar, regardless of age or how they came upon that learning. My aside about being over 50 was just an expression of my cynical opinion of present-day teaching methods in English and had nothing to do with hiring based on stereotypes.

I do think that analyzing and generating grammatical sentences using formal rules probably needs to be introduced in early adolescence, but I'm willing to be persuaded that people who first encounter the subject in college or later can pick it up.



Order RoboHelp X3 in May and receive a $100 mail-in rebate, PLUS
free RoboScreenCapture and WebHelp Merge Module.

Order RoboHelp today:

ATTENTION FrameMaker Users: Fill-out the following survey
to receive a chance to win a FREE RoboScreenCapture.

FM users only please:

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 for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: what to look for in a Tech Editor
Next by Author: RE: Creating HTML Pages
Previous by Thread: RE: what to look for in a Tech Editor
Next by Thread: RE: what to look for in a Tech Editor

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

Sponsored Ads