Re: What to look for in a technical editor

Subject: Re: What to look for in a technical editor
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- net -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 14:34:35 +1000

> ...which is why technical knowledge is
> of greater importance. An editor who
> does not know the technical info and
> moves a comma to make something
> grammatically correct might change
> the meaning of the technical info by
> mistake.

Well, if it was grammatically incorrect to
begin with, I doubt that much harm will
have been done. One way, it was gibberish,
and the other way, it was factually incorrect.
Either way, it's crap.

Obviously editors need to be fact checkers --
so that any changes made for the sake of clarity
do not misrepresent the facts of the case. I would
have thought any professional writer would be so
familiar with this glaringly obvious fact that it wouldn't
even need to come up for what passes for "debate"
in this forum.

Technical literature must be both accurate (free of
factual errors) and clearly written (free of language

There are plenty of good books on technical
editing available. I'd advise any newcomers to
tech writing to start there and ignore pseudo-
debates about "which is more important". Why
should it matter? Nobody should settle for either.

Michael West
Melbourne, Australia


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RE: What to look for in a technical editor: From: Bill Swallow

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