RE: Ten Technical Writing Stereotypes

Subject: RE: Ten Technical Writing Stereotypes
From: "Guy K. Haas" <guy -at- hiskeyboard -dot- com>
To: "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 13:05:53 -0700 (PDT)

I took the survey, and in the comments box at the end, I told Tom that in
many questions I had one answer in mind for the initial question, but then
the brief paragraph that discussed/explained it jerked me around.

Take this one:

2. Technical writing stifles your creativity.

Because you spend all day immersed in writing instructional text, your own
sense of creativity declines. You feel fewer flashes of inspiration and
generally have less creative drive and desire. You even find yourself
adopting the same techniques of writing short, clear, dry, humorless
sentences in your email and journal. True or False?

There are four separate statements there, and I would not answer TRUE or
FALSE to all of them. I'd go with TRUE on some and FALSE on others.

In fact, even the first sentence of the paragraph gives me problems --
even if I spend part of my day installing the latest beta of the product,
then exercising it, then writing some instructions and exercising the
product some more, then tracking down an SME to ask what a certain command
in the GUI means when it says <whatever it says>, I might say that my
sense of creativity declined -- even though I did NOT spend all day
"immersed in writing".

Maybe Tom needs to re-chunk the survey into more, briefer questions.

And, when I took the survey an hour or so ago, it was not limited to
true/false, but offered mostly true, sometimes true/sometimes false, and
mostly false.

What's up with THAT?

--Guy K. Haas
Software Exegete in Silicon Valley


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Ten Technical Writing Stereotypes: From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: Ten Technical Writing Stereotypes: From: Fred Ridder

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