RE: Rhetoric And Technical Writing?

Subject: RE: Rhetoric And Technical Writing?
From: Me Too <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 09:03:30 -0800 (PST)

> 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 or your
> new digital piano,
> aren't you quite interested in finding the answer?

Well, yes, but you're interested in the *answer*, not
in the document. You're thinking about what you can do
once you find that answer, not about reading the rest
of the document.

The blanket statement ?tech docs are boring? is not
quite right. There is a wide variety of things that
fall under the label ?technical document.? You can
make interesting technical documents, but only in the
right situation. Making a document both technically
useful and humanly interesting requires two conditions
be met: the subject has to be ?fuzzier,? and the
audience has to be less focused.

A document intended only to provide hard numbers is
necessarily a hard document. Let?s face it, a catalog
that gives IC designers the timing signals and
interrupt levels for various chip designs is not a
good candidate for an attempt at "interesting"
writing. It would waste the readers? time and probably
annoy them to try and spice up a document of this
type. But you can make the owners? manual of a car
more interesting. That is a looser subject and the
document is likely to be used in a situation where
time is not as tight, and the situation that depends
on finding the information is not as urgent to the

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RE: Rhetoric And Technical Writing?: From: Bonnie Granat

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