Re: Great piece on marketing collateral

Subject: Re: Great piece on marketing collateral
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 11:47:52 -0400

David Neeley wrote:

Dick, I'd offer a friendly amendment, perhaps... In technical products, I find few situations in which marketing claims should not be substantiated with facts. [snip]
On the other hand, a good technical documentation set IMHO will deal with the reasons *why* the product is used (benefits to the user) as well as the *how* information--although obviously with a more detailed treatment of the details and with procedural coverage as well.

Friendly enough, David, and I don't disagree with your analysis. However I was discussing the reason people seem to be talking past each other in this thread (so what else is new), rather than what I see as the characteristics of either kind of writing. So while your post is interesting in its own right, I don't really see it as an amendment to mine.

Whether you or I might be termed a "hack" or a "broadly experienced professional" surely lies in the eye of the beholder!

I wasn't using _hack_ in a disparaging or self-deprecatory sense. It's a badge I wear proudly, having earned my first writing paycheck as an advertising copywriter. I do not find that particular jargon definition of hack (familiar to me, anyway) in the long list of definitions I get when I give Google the search argument "define: hack"; however, I do find some interesting ones you might find more flattering:

• a car driven by a person whose job is to take passengers where they want to go in exchange for money

• an old or over-worked horse

• a horse kept for hire

(the above three from

• a person to whom the following critria apply: (1) wrote a paper accepted by the APA selection committee; (2) has a full-time job; (3) is published in the Journal of Philosophy; (4) is not an Eminence.

• Strictly speaking a term for someone who has hung around the club for far, far too long. Also used to refer to anyone who has been around at least a year longer than you, and has ever started a sentence with ‘There was this time at Easters 98 when…’ (

• The pieces of rubber you push off from at either end of the sheet (

• This is a type rather than a breed; hacks are elegant riding horses, popular in the show ring in England. (

Choose whichever may apply in your situation ;-)



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Re: Great piece on marketing collateral: From: David Neeley

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