Re: Editor's Eyes - Signs of the times

Subject: Re: Editor's Eyes - Signs of the times
From: John Fleming <johntwrl -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 25 May 2003 20:47:45 -0600

On Sun, 25 May 2003 22:11:19 -0400, in bit.listserv.techwr-l Doc
> $On Sun, 25 May 2003 19:28:25 -0600, John Fleming
> $<johntwrl -at- hotmail -dot- com> wrote:
> $|As the old saying goes, "Latin is a dead language, as dead as it
> $|can be. First it killed the Romans, and now it's killing me."
> $|We can't expect an editor with no background in either Latin or
> $|the Ordinary of the mass to know that 'Lamb of God' is Agnus Dei,
> $|and not Angus Dei, can we?
> $
> $Well, if we excoriate technical writers for not having sufficient
> $background in the technology ... shouldn't we also expect editors of
> $religious material to have some basis in what they're writing about?

I don't disagree with your point.

And settings of the Agnus Dei are common enough that I would
expect a competent music editor who does church music to pick up
on the error.

On the technical writing front, my own experience tells me that a
techmical writer with more background and knowledge in a field or
industry will have a definite advantage over a technical writer
who doesn't.

Such a writer should be able to do a writing job faster, and with
greater quality.

A couple of years ago I did a contract job documenting utility
billing systems. I remember one SME being surprised at how fast
we covered some of the material. We covered material in one
afternoon that she'd spent three days on with a previous writer.

I suspect the difference is that I originally trained in
engineering with a utility focus. In my case, there were things
I already knew and understood. My SME didn't need to teach it to

> $Mind you, I only advance the argument Platonically. I have no doubt
> $that it was a typo. After all:

OK. Still, that's why we have multiple reviews. It's to catch
things like that.

> $To err is human, to forgive bovine.

Mooooo. <smile>

John Fleming
Technical Writer
Edmonton, Alberta


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