RE: What to look for in a technical editor

Subject: RE: What to look for in a technical editor
From: "Smith, Martin" <martin -dot- smith -at- encorp -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 15:49:52 -0600

Regarding what to look for in a technical editor Andrew Plato wrote
"...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..."

One of my favorite examples of Andrew's point is that of an editor who
insisted on "correcting" all of the spelling errors in a source code
listing. The alleged spelling errors were not in the comments. The editor
couldn't understand why the source code wasn't written in plain English.

Another big potential trouble area involves units of measurement. Without
knowledge of the subject matter the editor cannot reliably ensure the
accuracy of units such as 10ms versus 10us / 10kHz versus 10MHz, etc.

Martin R. Smith


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