RE: What to look for in a technical editor

Subject: RE: What to look for in a technical editor
From: Kim Roper <kim -dot- roper -at- pixelink -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 15:35:27 -0400

Mark Baker wrote:

> Kim, you are confusing failure with blame. The screwdriver
> may not be to
> blame, but it it failed to drive in the nail, then it failed.
> If tools are
> misapplied, the generally fail.

I was using the technical interpretation of "fail" by considering whether
the thing (or person) did as it was designed (or trained) to do, not simply
what someone wanted it (him, her) to do. Sure, you could say that if a tool
"failed" if didn't do something it was never designed to do, but it's not
particularly illuminating in the failure analysis, and that generalization
could have you barking up the wrong tree when looking for the cause.

But if that's the definition you're using, so be it. Thanks for clarifying.

> I realize that if a school child does not pass a test, we are
> now obliged to
> say that the test was missapplied, not that the child failed.
> However, I
> think we are going to far when we start to bend the language
> out of shape to
> protect the self esteem of a screwdriver -- or even an engineer.

Yup, you read far too much into my words. School children and self esteem
have nothing to do with what I said or what I meant. Being an engineer, I'm
really quite literal minded. The psychological baggage has no relevance in
the technical context of failure.

And this is now so far off topic, I'm dropping it.

Cheers ... Kim


Robohelp X3, from eHelp, lets you quickly and easily create
professional Help systems for all your Windows and Web-based
applications, including Net.

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

Order RoboHelp today:

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 technical editor
Next by Author: RE: Video conversion
Previous by Thread: Re: What to look for in a technical editor
Next by Thread: Re: What to look for in a technical editor

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

Sponsored Ads