Re: Keep it on technical communications

Subject: Re: Keep it on technical communications
From: John Cook <john -dot- cook -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 13:28:00 -0600

> 3. That we pick on the errors of fellow posters doesn't bode well,
> either.

I should have addressed my response to the poster in private. My apologies.

The impulse was noble even if the execution was not. Our written
language shudders under the impact of poor training and lax standards,
and rapidly advancing technology isn't helping in this regard as SMS
becomes more prevalent and the informal shorthand of instant messaging
creeps into other, more formal communications.

Note that I'm not decrying employing the right mode of writing for the
technology. I SMS "r u dun" to my teenage daughter because I know my
audience and because "Are you done?" takes twice as long on
hunt-and-peck telephone keypads. However, I wouldn't write like that
in IMs, and I certainly wouldn't write like that in e-mail or more
professional venues, and technology convenience creep is just one of
the things we should keep our collective eyes on.

People that IM with that know my pedigree as a writer are self
conscious when they needn't be. I am quick to acknowledge that the
nature of the beast is quick, informal thoughts, not highly edited
essays, and ask them not to worry about spelling over-much as long as
the thought itself is clear. I get that.

My point is more that we, as professional writers, wind up being the
model for others in their written communication, whether we like it or
not, whether we wish it or not. I'm not slapping the hand of the one
who slipped - we all do. I do. Instead, my larger point is that
writers stand in the gap and are the writing role models, and should
remain rigorous in presenting clear, correct language wherever

John Cook
Technical Writer / Help Author
john dot cook at gmail dot com

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Keep it on technical communications: From: Johnson, Tom
Re: Keep it on technical communications: From: Peter Sturgeon

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