RE: Do TWs need to be formally educated in engineering and science?was, RE: old school

Subject: RE: Do TWs need to be formally educated in engineering and science?was, RE: old school
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 09:49:16 -0400

Gene Kim-Eng reiterated some of his usual sensible stuff, then said:
> Query a group of writers
> who have been going at each other for hours over
> some arcane point of grammar, and very seldom
> will you find a tech person among them; the techies
> tend to run for cover whenever these types of writer
> food fights get started, and just want to know when
> it's all over and the styleguide has been updated so
> they can get on with their work.

Back when my work got reviewed by several bodies (not just the QA guy
who is now my only reviewer), the people MOST likely (even when
instructed otherwise) to hand me back copy with stylistic, grammatical,
and formatting scribbles (usually in black ink, instead of red from the
pen that I'd handed to them...), were the SMEs.
Sometimes, it was at the expense of a thorough technical review, if
time... er... ran out. You could tell, because the scribbling got
thinner or vanished altogether in the second half of the document.

By contrast, when Marketing and Product Management used to have a go at
my stuff, I didn't get a lot of technical correction (well, I'm not
usually technically incorrect anyway) but I did get useful observations
about clarity or possibly missing antecedents or new thoughts about
audience and so on. In other words, stuff like "I think I follow this,
but people at XYZ corp (new big customer) won't have this background.
Can you broaden the intro and add another example that would be more
familiar to someone with experience in the ABC milieu - C.H. can
probably help; he's our Sales-Eng rep with the most exposure there."

But now that I'm reminiscing... a senior Product Manager named Randy
used to think and talk in full paragraphs and pages, and it was always
dense, persuasive, erudite.... and correct, technically and
grammatically. He didn't often have time to review my stuff, but when he
did so, my game went up a notch, for a while thereafter.

Kevin
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: RE: old school: From: quills
Re: RE: old school: From: John Hedtke
RE: RE: old school: From: Al Geist
RE: RE: old school: From: John Hedtke
Re: old school: From: Beth Agnew
Re: old school: From: Chris Morton
RE: old school: From: AL Geist
Do TWs need to be formally educated in engineering and science? was, RE: old school: From: Leonard C. Porrello
Re: Do TWs need to be formally educated in engineering and science? was, RE: old school: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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