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RE: Is technical writing a sellout or fallback career?
Subject:RE: Is technical writing a sellout or fallback career? From:Technical Writer <tekwrytr -at- hotmail -dot- com> To:"McLauchlan, Kevin" <kevin -dot- mclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, "Leonard C. Porrello" <leonard -dot- porrello -at- soleratec -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 21 Aug 2008 21:30:29 -0400
There is an old saying that, "Them as can, does. Them as can't, teaches." There is an even older saying that writers write for fear of being told to their faces that their ideas are silly. Specifically, a major motivation for writing (rather than other types of communication) is the desire to have the (usually uncontested) "last word."
That is unfortunate, because there is a Darwinian effect; the ones often most inclined to explain are those least competent at explaining. That is in no way intended to be demeaning. It is unfortunate that some of the most highly motivated "explainers" (including a substantial number of university faculty) are well-intentioned, but hopelessly incompetent at transferring what is in their heads into the heads of their readers/students/users. The Darwinian effect comes into play when the new crop of highly motivated "need the explanations" group has so little worthwhile from which to draw.
tekwrytr http://www.tekwrytrs.com/ - Contract business analysis and solutions development in Visual Basic .NET, ASP .NET, SQL Server, and XML. Specializing in cost-effective rapid application development (RAD), prototyping, and service-oriented architecture (SOA) IT solutions for SMBs.> Subject: RE: Is technical writing a sellout or fallback career?> Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 13:55:31 -0400> From: Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com> To: Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com; tekwrytr -at- hotmail -dot- com; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> > Leonard C. Porrello had it pretty much right when he said:> [...]> > My point is that we don't need to get stuck in either/or. Writing> talent> > is good. Certification is good. Academic education is good. All three> > together are impressive. However, while a writer must be talented to> be> > good at technical writing, you will find many good technical writers> > whose ability ultimately comes from neither certification nor academic> > education in either technology or English.> > Ya gots ta have da "'splainin-things" gene cluster.> > Half of the cluster gives you the ability to 'splain things.> The other half gives you the urge.> > They usually occur together.> When they don't...> Well, it's not a problem if somebody has a talent that they don't use,> as long as they have other talents that they do use... but...> It's really sad to encounter somebody who is driven by the compelling> urge to 'splain things... but who doesn't have any talent for it.> > - Kevin> The information contained in this electronic mail transmission > may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected > from disclosure. If you have received this communication in > error, please notify us immediately by replying to this > message and deleting it from your computer without copying > or disclosing it.> > >
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