Re: The Problem With Keeping It Plain And Simple

Subject: Re: The Problem With Keeping It Plain And Simple
From: "Rachna Ganguli" <rachna -dot- ganguli -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 15:50:48 +0530

> On 4/21/06, Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> > Good technical writing is so simple and straight
> > forward, they will wonder what took you so long.

> > The above statement largely explains why "Plain and
> > Simple" writing is so rare.

Largely maybe - but many many times people who aren't too sure of what
they are "talking" about, try and bluff their way thru using a lot of
complicated words and crutch words.Suddenly verbosity is a pal and
brevity is a myth.

This is especially true in the case of software documentation. Try
updating a document and as long as things are working you are OK and
when the software fails and you are chasing a deadline, chances are
that you'll leave many things the way-they-were.

So many people, esp. us ESL writers are trained (maybe intrinsic to
the education system that was prevalent when the current crop of
writers was in school) to use more complicated words and when used so
often, we forget that they are considered complicated. So legalese
gets retrofitted into pop song lyrics!

On 4/21/06, Hemang Antani <hemang -dot- phenix -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Right *T*ony. In one of my previous companies, I was asked "Hemang, you
> wrote only 2 pages in entire day??"
> Height is, the new team members after reading the docs used to say "software
> is easy to use." They do not realize that the software was easy to use
> because of the rightly written docs.

Easy to use software usually needs little supporting documentation.
Documenting hard-to-use software just adds fuel to the already raging
fire of confusion. No masterpiece can camouflage a badly designed

There are days I write 2 pages a day and then there are days when I am
on a roll :-) Tech writing isn't fiction writing. If you start your
research and other planning stuff when are officially writing, even
those 2 pages can seem intimidating.

Regarding the font/wrong words - anything that impedes easy
assimilation is a villain - bad colors, layout, lighting ...

Easy straight forward technical writing is anything but that ....


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Article: The Secret Of Impressive Writing? Keep It Plain And Simple: From: arroxaneullman
The Problem With Keeping It Plain And Simple: From: Tony Markos
Re: The Problem With Keeping It Plain And Simple: From: Hemang Antani

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