Re: Rhetoric And Technical Writing?

Subject: Re: Rhetoric And Technical Writing?
From: "David Loveless" <daveloveless -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Bonnie Granat" <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 09:21:03 -0700

Bonnie said:

>Also, how can technical documentation be said to be boring? To whom?
A filet >mignon is boring to a man who's not hungry. When you are
looking for an answer >to a question you have about software on your
new digital piano, aren't you quite >interested in finding the answer?

True. You would be interested in finding the answer, but how many
times have you been able to quickly find the answer? As a technical
writer, I RARELY go to the manual for answers because experience has
shown that I end up wasting time trying to find something that is not
there or that is hidden.

I guess what I'm trying to say about boring is this: the people who
have reviewed this manual READ the manual. They didn't just go look
for information, nor did they read it because they had to. They READ
the manual because they wanted to, and they enjoyed it. Why shouldn't
our documentation be written in such a way that inspires reading?

Most technical manuals that I encounter are so dull that I would never
read them. I normally try to read manuals when I first purchase a
product, but I always give up because I'm asleep by the third page.
And it is information that I desire to know. I like to know
everything, and the manual should be the easiest way to get all of it.

In other words, yes, the filet mignon might be boring to a person who
is full, but would you give unprocessed grain to a person who is

Oh, and my caveat: My background is in magazine design and technical
writing. They make strange bed fellows, but why shouldn't they? I
understand that my approach is not traditional, but it works. It is
fresh. It is new. You can call me a filet mignon dipped in chocolate
sauce. Who knows, it might be tasty even to someone who is full. Um...
probably not. Oh well.


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Re: Rhetoric And Technical Writing?: From: David Loveless
RE: Rhetoric And Technical Writing?: From: Bonnie Granat

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