Re: What to look for in a technical editor

Subject: Re: What to look for in a technical editor
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 09:25:31 -0700 (PDT)

----- Original Message -----
> To do a good job they must be knowledgeable in proper English usage while
> providing additional value to the work. This is done by looking at the
> larger picture. Direct knowledge of the product, while helpful, is of
> secondary importance.

I couldn't disagree more. Direct knowledge of the product is of PRIMARY
importance. It is impossible to intelligently edit any complex technical or
user manual without experience with the subject matter.

All the English skills in the universe cannot compensate for product ignorance.
Like I said in an earlier thread. How can you effectively make editorial
decisions, if you don't understand the technology. How do you know if something
is confusing, cryptic, or poorly organized if you have no understanding of the
subject matter.

Simply put, an editor cannot make intelligent editorial decisions from a
position of ignorance. As such, product and subject matter knowledge is of
primary importance.

I think you have been given awful advice if you think knowing the product and
subject matter is of secondary importance. I realize some people here have are
obsessed with remaining ignorant and will fight to the death to defend their
stupidity and its "value" to employers. I'd would advise you ignore those

Andrew Plato

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