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: Sat, 17 May 2003 04:53:10 -0700 (PDT)

"Janice Gelb" <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com> wrote

> My primary function is to make sure that
> the document serves the reader well, is organized in a way
> that best presents the information, does not contain errors
> of factual inconsistency, is not lacking in sufficient
> information to explain a concept or task, uses language
> correctly, and follows the style guidelines determined by
> our company.

And how do you expect to do that with any degree of precision if you don't
understand the subject matter? How can you serve the reader if you have no
understadning of the information the reader is getting?

I would even go so far as to say that an editor lacking subject matter
expertise can actually CAUSE more problems then they resolve. In the process of
imposing stylistic consistency and "readability" a content-ignorant writer
could change the meaning of the document, thus causing information to be
misleading or inaccurate.

On the other hand, an editor who understands the content, and can evaluate
details with some degree of expertise, will be able to make more intelligent
and appropriate editorial judgments.

Ignorance is NOT an asset.

Andrew Plato

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