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Subject:RE: within vs. in From:"Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net> To:"'Janice Gelb'" <Janice -dot- Gelb -at- Sun -dot- COM>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 17 Jan 2008 15:19:40 -0800
> From: Janice Gelb
> I suppose it depends on where you work. I wouldn't
> use the word "own" but most of the tech companies with
> which I've been involved defer to the SME for technical
> content but are paying the writer for writing expertise
> so the SME is responsible for making sure that the content
> is technically accurate and the writer is responsible for
> writing decisions. It's fairly standard for tech review
> cover letters to indicate that the tech review should cover
> technical content rather than the writing itself and that
> decisions on grammar and wording remain with the writer
> unless the suggestion is intended for technical clarity.
> YMMV, of course.
My point is that there is an owner and the owner is not usually the writer
or the SME. The owner at the highest level is the company and at lower
levels is a department or department manager. There may be someone who has
authority to act on the owner's behalf. Is this person the writer or the
SME? That is a factor that varies.
Usually, the writer has a greater say in the choice of words, but often the
SME may be a primary consumer for the document, either in training or in
providing documents to the end-user. In the case of an SME as a primary
consumer, then the SME is the customer and can direct the content. There
are also cases where the SME may have a better insight into the style of a
company's documentation than the writer does, like in cases of contract
Without an example of the usage of the terms or any knowledge of the status
of the SME, it is not really possible to say that the SME is or is not the
owner or has the license of the owner. But the *owner* should be considered
when determining the correct term to use. Are there previous documents that
the current document should match? Is there a style guide? These are
concerns where there is a document owner who is not the writer.
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