Re: Just can't help myself

Subject: Re: Just can't help myself
From: Lou Quillio <public -at- quillio -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 12:14:56 -0400


Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

It may, or it may reflect a clear understanding of what they really
need. There are still companies out there where the engineers
can do the bulk of the writing and just need someone to type it
all up, run the spellcheck and generate a PDF as an aside to
providing other support. They may not understand "what we do," or they may understand perfectly and just not need us to do it.

This is the right perspective, IMO.

Even amongst ourselves, 'Tech Writer' describes about five different assemblages of skills, duties and roles. In the larger world there are about five more in use, for a total of maybe ten. The trouble is that 'Tech Writer" ('Tech Comm', etc.) is an amorphous term.

So we have an attitudinal choice to make. We can flash on every opportunity labeled 'Tech Writer', know we're competent and assume we should be in legitimate contention -- and be miffed when it turns out the broad label was intended -- or face the fact that fifty percent of 'Tech Writer' opportunities are mis-labeled (by our more narrow definition), and were never suitable for us.

Seen this way, getting upset about this stuff is a sort of bratty, semantic gripe: "You can't call that 'tech writing', you bastards!" If nothing else, we *are* supposed to understand language and how it's commonly used.

I do acknowledge that 'Tech Writer' is lately used to puff-up some low-paying admin opportunities, but also acknowledge that there's nothing I can do about it. I suppose it's galling to have hitched an advanced degree investment to the 'Tech Writer' label and see it hijacked, yet howling at the moon is pointless.

So chill.

http://quillio.com/item.php?id=118_0_1_0_M

LQ

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Just can't help myself: From: Sherry Michaels
Re: Just can't help myself: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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