Re: Sloppy writing, sloppy thinking

Subject: Re: Sloppy writing, sloppy thinking
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 08:36:02 -0700 (PDT)

"Michael West" wrote ...
> And this, dear long-suffering colleagues, is why I
> am always astounded when someone posts a statement
> here to the effect that a technical document can be
> both perfectly written and completely wrong (that isn't
> at all what Bruce said, of course -- this is something that
> has been stated here in many, many artificially-constructed
> rhetorical oppositions between "technical skills" and "writing
> skills").

It isn't that documents are "completely wrong," they're just not wholly
accurate. Actually, what I see a lot more of these days is poorly focused
documents. There is a tremendous amount of energy poured into sections of the
document that describe simple commands and menus, and then detailed technical
information is thrown into a poorly formatted appendix. A clear indication that
the author did not understand the material, and was unwilling or unable to
learn it.

> Why do some here (NOT Bruce, I say one last time!)
> keep trying to convince us that good tech-writing craft
> can exist without *both* technical accuracy and clarity
> of expression? Is it because it is easier to pretend that
> good, honest craftsmanship is not nearly as important as
> guruhood? Sometimes you gotta wonder.

You are correct - technical writing craft demands both tech and writing skills.
A deficiency in one, is a deficiency as a whole.

However, tech skills are still more valuable in the marketplace.

Andrew Plato

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