RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken

Subject: RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: "'Michael West'" <WestM -at- conwag -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 4 May 2008 23:43:31 -0700

However, my argument is that technical writing and business writing are not
the same. Of course there is overlap between the two as there is overlap
between most classes of writing; nobody has argued against that. Naturally,
a good writer of business and technical documents can write both technical
and business documents; there was never a controversy here.

My point has always been that the two are different because they have
different focuses and different purposes. Nobody has argued against my
conclusion, people are nitpicking over one example that I provided about the
difference of risk. If the issue of risk is removed from my argument, then
my argument stands unaffected and we are back to my original claim, the two
classes of writing are different.

Technical writing is not a sub-class of business writing and business
writing is certainly not a sub-class of technical writing. The two are
different.

Lauren

________________________________

From: Michael West [mailto:WestM -at- conwag -dot- com]
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2008 3:46 PM
To: lauren -at- writeco -dot- net; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken



Cheers,
Mike


"Lauren" wrote:

> > From: Michael West
>
> > I don't believe that "business writing" and "technical writing"
are
> > necessarily mutually exclusive.
>
> What? But they are different and I could not really see a
business writer
> diving-in to do technical writing or a technical writer diving-in
and doing
> business writing.

A careful writer who is attentive to the needs of the business and
the audience can do both successfully. I have done many successful
communications projects that would not fit neatly into one category without
bits that overhang into the other.

A common example is policy and procedure writing.

> The risks of an unsuccessful technical document are lower than the
risks of
> an unsuccessful business document, although the detail of
technical
> documents is greater than that of business documents. Risks are
lower for
> technical writing ...

Don't kid yourself. Badly executed technical documents can -- and
have -- led to catastrophes including loss of life.

--
Mike West
Melbourne, Australia


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RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken: From: Michael West

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