RE: The "Perfect" Course of Study for a Technical Writer

Subject: RE: The "Perfect" Course of Study for a Technical Writer
From: "Peter Gold" <peter -at- knowhowpro -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 08:15:40 -0500

"Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com> wrote:
I've always wondered about the term itself. Back about 1988-90, my
ex-wife (like me, a big cat lover) was chair of the Denver Libertarian
Party. Exasperated at trying to organize such a bunch of individualists,
she declared loudly one meeting that the job was "like trying to herd

She has no recollection of having borrowed that expression from
elsewhere, and I've never seen any references older than the late 1990s.
Anyone know of a pre-1990 source?


I recall trying to explain, in the first introductory dBASE II class I
taught around 1985, to explain why data being imported needs as many
fields, and in the same order, as the fields in the receiving database
file, I improvised: "If the source data doesn't match up correctly,
it's chaos. It's like herding cats."

I didn't think I'd "heard" it before coming up with it, but the mind
is a mysterious thing.


Peter Gold
KnowHow ProServices

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