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Subject:Re: In love with a word From:John Cook <john -dot- cook -at- gmail -dot- com> To:TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 5 Jan 2006 09:02:26 -0600
On 1/5/06, Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com> wrote:
> That VP of Engineering I spoke of who used "utilized" when he should
> have used "use," and sprinkled "amongst" liberally throughout his Help
> text was, incidentally, also the head of the local school board.
Ah, and that raises another interesting point.
Good Technical Writing is about self control, knowing your audience,
preferring clarity over vanity, knowing what you'd /like/ to write and
knowing what you /should/ write, and choosing the better option
despite personal preference.
In short, it appears that your VP was too proud to write right and too
vain to learn better.
Sometimes, it's better to be humble (or, better yet, to be confident
enough in your own prowess to humble yourself on behalf of your end
Confession: I did write, at one point, something to our Field Service
techs for them not to do something, ending the instruction with this
line: "That would be bad."
I'd never do that in end-user documentation, but it seemed to fit our
rather more in-house procedures. Apparently, I wasn't quite humble
enough myself on that day, but it still makes me smile when I think of
it. ; )
Technical Writer / Help Author
john dot cook at gmail dot com
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