Re: George Hayhoe, a rant, and a resignation

Subject: Re: George Hayhoe, a rant, and a resignation
From: "Guy K. Haas" <guy -at- hiskeyboard -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 09:05:36 -0700 (PDT)

The STC has two periodicals: Technical Communication Journal and Intercom.
The former tends to be more research-oriented and academic, while the
latter focuses more on the practical.

I see Techwr-L as more like Intercom. I believe Dr. Hailey expected it to
be more like the Journal.

Perhaps the concept of "register" is the issue in this discussion. [The
applicable American Heritage Dictionary entry says: "9. A variety of
language used in a specific social setting: speaking in an informal
register; writing in a scientific register."]

IMHO, Dr. Hailey was addressing the term "grammar" in an academic register
and may have expected the conversation to proceed in that register, but
others in the discussion were operating in a more informal register.

--Guy K. Haas
Software Exegete in Silicon Valley



On Thu, March 26, 2009 8:38 am, David Dorbin wrote:
> David, I think know-it-alls should be hyphenated ;-)
>
> There are a lot (certainly a majority) of non-academicians on this list,
> who will occasionally misuse terms while trying to argue an otherwise
> valid point. Sometimes a nonvalid point. And speaking as a person (new to
> this list) who uses this list for practical purposes, I don't care if
> someone misconstrues the distinction between grammar and style. In fact,
> that distinction does not inform my work; I just want to write clearly,
> and whether it's a "rule" of grammar or a point of style, it's instruction
> for me about how to do that. And when a thread gets bogged down with
> trivial arguments over the vocabulary we use to describe what we do, as
> opposed to the vocabulary we use to do what we do, or in other trivia, I
> just stop opening up messages in that thread.
>
> If you must go, then farewell, but the list is better off with some
> scholars of technical communication than with none.
>
> -Dave
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: John Posada <jposada99 -at- gmail -dot- com>
> To: David Hailey <david -dot- hailey -at- usu -dot- edu>
> Cc: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2009 11:14:09 AM
> Subject: Re: George Hayhoe, a rant, and a resignation
>
>> I posted a message titled "Grammar," where I said:
>> Back in the ninth grade we were taught "grammar." In reality that is not
>> grammar; it is a study of mechanical processes and a truly insignificant
>> part of what grammarians study. Even undergraduate writing classes
>> barely
>> touch on the larger issue that is grammar. Let me try to explain."
>
> David...as a long-time participant on this list, I won't object to
> much you said...while there is lots I could, in your eyes it wouldn't
> make any difference.
>
> However, what I do object is the inference that the purpose of the
> list should be for one purpose...to advance the theoretics of the
> profession to the exclusion of addressing practical matters and to
> correct or discuss erroneous knowledge or opinions.
>
> There are as many uses of the list as there are subscribers. Some,
> like you, to discuss "weighty" issues. Some join to be able to ask
> where a button in an application is. Some to state what in their mind
> are absolutes, and some, since they are stuck in a cube all day,
> consider this a virtual water cooler.
>
> However, since this is a slice of the technical writers you can meet
> at any meeting, at any conference, at any event, why does it surprise
> you that there are many categories people; those who agree with your
> opinions, disagree with them, have their own, and some have no
> opinion, just like to mouth off...the thrill of being able to speak to
> 4,000 people when in real life they cannot find 4.
>
> To be honest, I don't know that I consider Hayhoe "the best resource"
> this list ever had because to be honest, I can't say that I ever
> remember seeing him contribute and I've been around since 1-2 years
> after the list's inception...but maybe that's just me.
>
> I also find it disturbing that all it takes is a disagreement with
> your statement to cause you to leave...that means the roads must be
> littered with people who have quit because of my comments.
>
> One last thing...> He was sufficiently upset with TECHWR-L that it
> was..< Upset with a list? THat must be a pretty serene life to have
> this list rise above the radar floor. It's a list!
>
>
>
> --
> John Posada

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Wrong? Poor style? OK?: From: Michael West
RE: Grammar: From: David Hailey
RE: Grammar: From: Pinkham, Jim
RE: George Hayhoe, a rant, and a resignation: From: David Hailey
Re: George Hayhoe, a rant, and a resignation: From: John Posada
Re: George Hayhoe, a rant, and a resignation: From: David Dorbin

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