Re: Technical Writing - What's the catch?

Subject: Re: Technical Writing - What's the catch?
From: John Cook <john -dot- cook -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 17:29:06 -0600

> "I'm gonna copy some of the stuff in this novel to a Tech Writers'
> newsgroup posting. I'll mix-in some other stuff about how nobody
> respects tech writers. You watch. In six hours they'll all be wailing in
> unison, and nobody will call bullshit. Works every time."
> Look, I'm having a little fun here, and I apologize to Rahul -- if he's legit.
> Yet he asked for it, so he got it.
> LQ

(briefly delurking)

Unless I'm missing something, this piece appears to me to be an essay
conveying an opinion, not a white paper, not a chapter in a technical

Give the man a break.

Rahul sounds like he loves words. I wager you can say the same for
any of us reading this list. So what if he sounds like Tycho
(reference to the Penny Arcade gaming author)? That's his
prerogative. I happen to love Tycho's writing. Is it genuine? Is it
parody? All I know is that he has a brilliantly verbose vocabulary,
painting with words as if they were colors of the rainbow and not mere
utilitarian implements. Tycho has inspired in me a gleeful abandon
that I had previously denied myself when writing essays.

It is a completely different deal with other writing that I do. When
writing tech and gaming posts for an online site, I write as a
journalist. When writing blog posts, I write as a fan. When writing
novels, I write with creative abandon. And when I write technical
documentation, I write with an emphasis on clarity and brevity, where
my focus is on the accuracy of the content, the presentation to the
end-user, and the deliberate use of language appropriate to the

I suspect it is the same with many here.

With that said, clarity is almost always an important component, even
when expressing one's opinion in an essay. I get that. That's a
lesson that comes with experience, especially when you're looking to
stimulate dialogue and not just provoke a response.

I hope that this thread will end up being just that, an ultimately
positive learning experience, (and not just for Rahul).

Kind regards,

John Cook
Technical Writer
Camtronics Medical Systems


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Technical Writing - What's the catch?: From: nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il
Re: Technical Writing - What's the catch?: From: Lou Quillio

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