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It is certainly less expensive to train a competent engineer to write
well enough (that old "satisficing" trip) than to train a technical
writer to write about a topic that requires engineering knowledge. If
the technical writer actual understood the topic as well as the
engineer, why would he or she be writing about it rather than doing it?
Sigh. I'm saving this in my "Pearls from Techwr-l" file. Still working
on my guys here who think everything should have been taken care of when
they took me by the shoulders, pointed me at the 350-person
manufacturing plant, and said "There, Go Thou And Write Technically".
I do love a challenge, and I love the freedom and creativity possible in
this job -- and I like "my guys" a lot and I even respect them. They
are among the best at what they do. They still (often) have to be
reminded that while I am not a data entry clerk, neither am I a
manufacturing engineer and I do need some time with managers and the MEs
_and_ the people on the line or they are going to be stuck with what my
excellent observational skills and frighteningly vivid imagination can
come up with (up with can come?).
My point is: Always, always be careful what you pray for. And for what
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