Re: RE: Are your documents interesting? and translatable?

Subject: Re: RE: Are your documents interesting? and translatable?
From: Susan W. Gallagher <sgallagher5 -at- cox -dot- net>
To: Sankara R <ss_rajanala -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <laura_johnson -at- agilent -dot- com>, <john -dot- cook -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 17:00:31 -0500

Actually, no - poetry and technical writing have a lot in
common and many technical writers would do well to study
poets such as Cummings more carefully. Both genre share an
interest in selecting words very carefully to convey exactly
the right meaning. Cummings himself wrote about this in
a forward for one of his volumes and repeated it in a non-
1926--from the foreword to a book of poems called Is 5

At least my theory of technique, if I have one, is very
far from original; nor is it complicated. I can express it
in fifteen words, by quoting The Eternal Question And
Immortal Answer of burlesk,viz. "Would you hit a woman with a child?--No,I'd hit her with a brick." Like the burlesk comedian, I am abnormally fond of that precision which creates movement.
---end quote---

I had that quote on my website for many years, both as
inspiration to find the perfect word to convey a though
and as a reminder of the consistent ambiguity of the word

Most of the world lies outside the box.

-Sue Gallagher

> From: Sankara R <ss_rajanala -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> The ideal document is one that does not lose
> anything 'meaningful' in translation.
> Anyways, if you put poetry at one extreme, with
> all its exploitation of figures of speech,
> ambiguities, and lots of stuff lost in
> translation: we, tech writers, are at the other
> extreme.
> > the prose in that case.
> >
> straight-faced, prosaic, uniquivocal... and
> absolutely translatable. This is the challenge.
> ...
> > limitations. I'm going to take this as a
> > challenge. ;->
> much as letting the fancy take you, a la
> cummings, e.e.
> ===
> anyone lived in a pretty how town
> with up so floating many bells down
> spring summer autumn winter
> no one cared for anyone no more


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