What do you guys think of STCs new definition for technical writer?

Subject: What do you guys think of STCs new definition for technical writer?
From: "Borowik, Kristy" <Kristy_Borowik -at- lcca -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 09:06:47 -0400

Yesterday I started a debate amongst the STC board of directors, trying
to get them to change their proposed definition to include the word
"ensure" rather than the word "assure." Merriam Webster clearly states
that the word "assure" "distinctively implies the removal of doubt or
suspense from a person's mind." So how can they possibly use the word in
their definition? A few of the members agree with me. One has changed it
in the survey they sent out yesterday, but this morning I received an
e-mail from the director of communications that makes me think the
discussion is not over. He simply thinks the word means something else.
He said it means "to give likelihood to." Nowhere could I find that
definition. I seriously think he made it up. I'm curious about what you
all think of both the debate and the definition.

My co-worker and I are concerned with the sole mention of equipment. Is
it not leaving out the biggest chunk of technical communicators in the
software field (and others)?

The definition: Develop and design instructional and informational tools
needed to assure safe, easy, proper and complete use of technical goods.
Combines multi-media knowledge and strong communication skills with
technical expertise to educate across the entire spectrum of users'
abilities, technical experience, and visual and auditory capabilities."

Of course it also bothers me that the serial comma is not used in the
second line. But I have yet to do a formal survey to see how many of us
use it and how many don't. I was under the impression that more do than
don't, but I have only my experience with the STC tech editing SIG to go

And then shouldn't technical experience also be plural as the other
items in that series, for logic and parallelism? Oh this STC group just
hurts my head!

Kristy Borowik


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