RE: This too is technical communication

Subject: RE: This too is technical communication
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 16:12:11 -0600

This sentiment has been expressed about five different ways on this
thread, and I just don't get it:

> Even when we do know all of the shortcuts and can dive into
> an application and go to work, we still need to document the
> application according to the path that the user will take.
> So we get information that we personally do not need.

If I personally _don't need_ the information, it's because I _already
have it_.

If I'm a good technical writer (which, as someone pointed out, has _a
lot_ to do with analytical thinking), and I know something about my
audience, and I thoroughly know the application I'm documenting, then I
can produce the appropriate documentation with the appropriate level of
complexity, detail, etc.

I don't need to empty my head of pre-existing application knowledge and
re-learn it from a starting point of ignorance -- even if I could, it
would be wasteful and silly.

In the immortal words of Andrew Plato, "Ignorance is not a valuable
commodity regardless of how you spin it."


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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RE: This too is technical communication: From: Lauren

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