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: "'Gene Kim-Eng'" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 13:57:47 -0700

> From: Gene Kim-Eng

> 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.

Ah. Contracts may be technical, in a legal sense, anyway, but they are
certainly not the product of technical writing.

> Being a "technical writer" in such settings often consists
> mostly of grammar and spelling editing

For legal writing, technical editing could result in a legal change to the
content. Suppose a technical editor adheres to the serial comma rule that
there is not a comma after the second to last list item?

Now a seller can contract to send "widgets, cogs and sprockets or dingies."
What is being shipped?

Is it [widgets AND cogs AND sprockets] OR [dingies]?

Is it [widgets] OR [cogs AND sprockets] OR [dingies]?

Is it [widgets] AND [cogs] AND [sprockets OR dingies]?

A technical writer without the requisite legal education may miss this
distinction. Legal writing is a different animal from technical writing.

Lauren

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

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