Occupational titles AKA poking the bear with a stick

Subject: Occupational titles AKA poking the bear with a stick
From: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
To: "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2007 12:38:12 -0500

To further the hornets' nest I stirred up yesterday, salespeople sell
things. People in marketing bring items to the market so they may be
sold. So far, so good.

Writers write. Okay.

Playwrites write plays. Cool.

Documentation writers write documentation. Logical enough.

Novel writers write novels. Good.

Screenwriters "write" movies. Everyone understands that much.

Technical writers write technical. Huh?

When I meet strangers and we give the "what we do" speech, mine elicits
interest - and confusion.

They love the "writer" thing - it sounds cool and romantic -- but then
they go on with why would anyone write "technically" when most people
can't program their home pc or VCR or DVR or microwave? They don't

I have simplified things. In addition to telling people what my list
friend Dori told me, I will add, "As a technical writer, I write
documentation for computer applications and other technical things."

"Technical writer" really needs to be qualified. It amounts to poor

-- Craig


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