RE: What do you guys think of STCs new definition for technicalwriter?

Subject: RE: What do you guys think of STCs new definition for technicalwriter?
From: "Bonnie Granat" <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 10:17:21 -0400

Mike,

You are right. Sorry about that. Here are some quick (very quick) reactions:

I still don't like the "that are clear..." The definition should describe
what is done, not the ideal quality of the result.

I don't like "deliverables" -- the reader of this may not be familiar with
the word and "documents" is better, I think.

How about "...work in business, industry, and government..."

No need for "around the world," which these days goes without saying.

Comma is mandatory before "including."

I don't like "...a variety of methods, tools, and technologies including
writing, illustration, graphic design, photography, video, and sound" for
some reason, and it may be the "methods, tools, and technologies" that
bothers me. Perhaps it's that at least one method, tool, and technology
should be used in the list that follows "including." I don't think that "
"...a variety of methods, tools, and technologies" adds anything helpful to
the sentence. Is writing a method or a tool or a technology? I don't think
it's either! Same for all the others; one could ask the question about tool,
too. Is video a tool? A method?

I think that the definition needs to include something about the purpose of
the work that such a person does. I've seen excellent definitions of
technical communication online and elsewhere that address this. If I tried
to come up with my own statement, I know I would consult those first. ; )

Your version is definitely an improvement, Mike, but you know me -- picky,
picky, picky.

If I were seriously involved in drafting a definition, I would study
existing definitions of other occupations that are used by the publication
or entity in question and approach the task after analyzing other
definitions for their elements, content, and so forth.

Bonnie Granat
http://www.GranatEdit.com


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Starr [mailto:mikestarr-techwr-l -at- writestarr -dot- com]
> Sent: Saturday, May 24, 2008 9:31 AM
> To: Bonnie Granat
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: What do you guys think of STCs new definition
> for technicalwriter?
>
> Ah, you replied to my message but didn't comment on my
> rewrite of what Sean started. You commented on Sean's
> original. I think my rewrite handles most of your concerns.
> My rewrite was:
>
> Technical communicators create a variety of print and online
> documents that are clear, concise, comprehensive, accurate,
> correct, accessible, and professional. Typical deliverables
> include manuals, online documentation, proposals, policies
> and procedures, and websites. Technical communicators work in
> all types of businesses and industries around the world and
> use a variety of methods, tools, and technologies including
> writing, illustration, graphic design, photography, video, and sound.
>
> Mike
> --
> Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
> Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Technical Illustrator
> Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
> (262) 694-1028 - mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - http://www.writestarr.com
>
> Bonnie Granat wrote:
> > Needs a comma before "including," but I think the
> principles of good
> > technical writing ought to be brought seriously to bear on that
> > definition Mike. For example: "A technical communicator creates
> > communication .. " -- would you accept something like that
> in a customer-facing document?
> >
> > I also think that commenting on the quality in a definition
> is not good.
> > Would a definition of a physician say: "Ensures people
> become healthy..."?
> > No, of course not. So saying "A technical communicator creates
> > communication that is clear, concise, comprehensive, accurate,
> > correct, accessible, accurate, and ..." is like saying
> "Ensures people
> > become healthy..." -- which is unacceptable.
> >
> > Question to myself: "Why are you helping with a definition
> whose term
> > you think is silly?"
> >
> > Bonnie Granat
> > http://www.GranatEdit.com
> >
> >
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From:
> >> techwr-l-bounces+bgranat=granatedit -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> >> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+bgranat=granatedit -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l
> >> .com] On Behalf Of Mike Starr
> >> Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 10:12 AM
> >> To: Borowik, Kristy
> >> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> >> Subject: Re: What do you guys think of STCs new definition for
> >> technicalwriter?
> >>
> >> Yesterday, in another thread, Sean Brierly came up with this
> >> suggestion:
> >>
> >> Sean Brierley wrote:
> >>> A technical communicator creates communication that is
> >> clear, concise,
> >>> comprehensive, accurate, correct, accessible, accurate, and
> >>> professional, using a variety of methods, tools, and
> technologies,
> >>> that can include writing, illustration, photography, video,
> >> and sound,
> >>> for a variety of static and dynamic deliverables, including print
> >>> media and online media.
> >> I then worked it over and came up with this:
> >>
> >> Technical communicators create a variety of print and online
> >> documents that are clear, concise, comprehensive,
> accurate, correct,
> >> accessible, and professional. Typical deliverables include
> manuals,
> >> online documentation, proposals, policies and procedures, and
> >> websites. Technical communicators work in all types of
> businesses and
> >> industries around the world and use a variety of methods,
> tools, and
> >> technologies including writing, illustration, graphic design,
> >> photography, video, and sound.
> >>
> >> Incidentally, I'm not a proponent of brevity at all costs nor am I
> >> inclined toward packaging the whole thing into a single sentence.
> >> Word tells me this paragraph contains 63 words. I don't
> think that's
> >> too much.
> >
> >
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Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.
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Follow-Ups:

References:
What do you guys think of STCs new definition for technical writer?: From: Borowik, Kristy
Re: What do you guys think of STCs new definition for technical writer?: From: Mike Starr
RE: What do you guys think of STCs new definition for technicalwriter?: From: Bonnie Granat
Re: What do you guys think of STCs new definition for technicalwriter?: From: Mike Starr

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