RE: flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos

Subject: RE: flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos
From: "David Chinell" <dchinell -at- msn -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 09:57:26 -0500


One thing that helps me is having defined style guides that
we've agreed upon as our standards:

Microsoft Manual of Style - for software documentation
Chicago Manual of Style - for all other documentation
Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition - for
spelling and usage

(I list these to satisfy the curious. I'm not advocating
them for you or anyone else -- they're just what works for

Our style guide lists exceptions to these references, plus
material that isn't covered. So we check our style guide
first. If there's no instruction there, we check either MW
11, or MS MoS, or Chicago (depending on the subject matter).
Finally, we have an informal practice of determining odd
spellings, casings, or usages with web searches. The idea
is, all else failing, we should use what our readers expect.

When you can demonstrate that your markup arises strictly
from conformance to reputable, established, references, you
avoid personal accusations. You become, in effect, an
editing machine. You also avoid endless meetings trying to
get consensus on stuff that's been resolved for ages.

You can sell the adoption of published guides based on the
time and labor you'll save recreating the information, the
universal availability of these references, and on the way
your writers will become more marketable, having worked to
established style guides.

You'll also get the chance to improve your editing skills. I
find I spend a lot of my editing time doing research my
writers don't have the time or inclination to do.



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flashpoint of the week: editors and writers egos: From: Wright, Lynne

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