RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken

Subject: RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken
From: "Leonard C. Porrello" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 11:10:11 -0700

I'm not writing to disagree with anyone. I think a lot of confusion in this discussion is coming from a lack of clarity of what is meant by "technical". It looks like people are arguing apples and oranges.

Forgive me for being pedestrian. Below is the definition of "technical" from Merriam-Webster. In general, if you take "technical" in only one of its six possible senses (according to MW), then those who are saying "technical writing isn't..." are right. If you consider all of the definitions, then those who say, "technical writing certainly is..." win the day.

The question becomes, then, not what is "technical writing"; but rather, how has the "technical" in "technical writing" been understood historically and do we want to use "technical" in a narrow or broad sense?

Main Entry:
techÂniÂcal Listen
Etymology:
Greek technikos of art, skillful, from technÄ art, craft, skill; akin to Greek tektÅn builder, carpenter, Latin texere to weave, Sanskrit taksÌati he fashions
Date:
1617

1 a: having special and usually practical knowledge especially of a mechanical or scientific subject <a technical consultant> b: marked by or characteristic of specialization <technical language>
2 a: of or relating to a particular subject b: of or relating to a practical subject organized on scientific principles <a technical school> c: technological
3 a: based on or marked by a strict or legal interpretation b: legal
4: of or relating to technique
5: of, relating to, or produced by ordinary commercial processes without being subjected to special purification <technical sulfuric acid>
6: relating to or caused by the functioning of the market as a discrete mechanism not influenced by macroeconomic factors <a technical rally>

Leonard C. Porrello


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Gene Kim-Eng
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 10:20 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken

Contracts are definitely "technical," especially when
they involve intellectual property, patents, etc. Court
arguments and legal briefs can often benefit from
copyediting support, but mostly they are documents
that need to be prepared by their SMEs. A "technology"
writing parallel might be peer review submissions by
scientists, which also benefit from copyediting,
but are required by submission rules be prepared
primarily by the SME/author in order to be accepted.
Being a "technical writer" in such settings often consists
mostly of grammar and spelling editing (which can be
as much work as actually writing from scratch if the
subject matter is particularly esoteric and the author
is an ESL person), graphics, indexing and other
production support, and managing the actual physical
publication of the printed materials.

Gene Kim-Eng


----- Original Message -----
From: "Keith Hood" <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> Writing contracts may be closer to technical writing,
> because contracts are supposed to be definitive and
> accurate. But writing in torts and criminal cases is
> something else entirely.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.
http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com

---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- soleratec -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/leonard.porrello%40soleratec.com


To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.
http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com

---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40web.techwr-l.com


To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.


Follow-Ups:

References:
RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken: From: Keith Hood
Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken: From: Gene Kim-Eng

Previous by Author: RE: What about Technical Writer vs Communicator?
Next by Author: RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken
Previous by Thread: Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken
Next by Thread: Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads