Re: I had say it because I was afraid no one else would.

Subject: Re: I had say it because I was afraid no one else would.
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 09:26:09 -0600

From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
Subject: Re: I had say it because I was afraid no one else would.

CL T wrote:
> One paragraph from this is especially true.
>
> FROM THE DESK OF DAVID POGUE
> Tech Terms to Avoid
> "Why tech writers use so much jargon, I don't know. ...

The opposite can be just as frustrating. Here's a made-up example, but
it's like conversations I've had:

"Oh, you work with computers? What's wrong with mine? The thing where
you put the name you want, it's giving me something I don't understand.
And when I push the button it just sits there. What could be doing that?

It's a virus, isn't it?"

Translated into geekspeak, that's "I thought I was using Google via
MSIE, but I'm actually in MS Excel, and entering a search term and
clicking on it doesn't give me a google result."

See how much clearer it is when people avoid geeky technobabble?


------------------------------

Of course, people in a certain field are expected to know and use *some*
technical words connected with that field. I am reminded of an actual
exchange between one of our service reps and one of our clients that
went something like this:

SERVICE REP: Now the first thing you do is turn on your terminal.

CLIENT: Hey, don't you go using those fancy, technical words with me.

SERVICE REP: Okay, that thing that looks like a TV set with a typewriter
attached.

CLIENT: Well why didn't you just say so?

I seem you recall that either that client or another one from the same
part of the country invited the service rep to come on out there and
join in their catfish catching contest.

Happy Friday.
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