RE: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one

Subject: RE: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Kathleen MacDowell" <kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com>, "Pinkham, Jim" <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 May 2009 13:49:39 -0400



> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr
-l.com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=safenet->
inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Kathleen MacDowell
> Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:29 PM
> To: Pinkham, Jim
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one
>
> I've noticed that responses to these types of questions often involve
> extensive re-writes to the content. I think that many of them
> are excellent,
> and that they help raise questions about ambiguity in the
> original content.
>
> But I also wonder how much you apply similar types of
> rewrites to your daily
> work?
>
> In my experience, the client often wants you to go with what they've
> written, so I try to work from that perspective as much as
> possible. It's
> primarily a matter of choosing battles, because typically, there is
> important content that needs correction and multiple reviews.
> With the time
> constraints everyone works under, it's hard enough getting
> those reviews
> done without confronting them over relatively minor issues.
>
> I can see the focus if one is working on a major aspect of
> the content. For
> example, if the material is client-facing material on a
> website or product
> release (e.g., perhaps the original posting), rather than as
> part of the
> product documentation or a user manual. But if this were part
> of a user
> manual, I'd argue that it would be more effective to do a
> basic rewrite--so
> that it was accurate and grammatical--and leave it at that.
>
> Please note that I learn a lot from these postings, so I
> don't mean to be
> critical. I'm just curious how people typically deal with
> these types of
> situations.
>
> Kathleen


My stuff falls into two categories:


A) My words are golden... until I hit [Send] (or equivalent) and
suddenly the goofs and blunders are in 72-point electric fuschia,
flashing... with sirens.


B) My words are golden... and they're gone, and I've moved on to the
next urgency, when somebody from Sales-Eng sends an e-mail that they've
just had a chance to go over the docs for the recent release... see "A"
above.


Most of us don't have the luxury of having staff (or any other kind of)
editors available, and we all know that our own eyes trying to catch the
problems in our own work ... don't. At least, not until some time has
elapsed, which usually means, see "A" and/or "B" above.

The same magic power that the e-mail [Send] button has, to lift the veil
on what we've just blatted to the world, is also imbued strongly in the
product-release milestone.

Ask developers/programmers about the similar magic of the "Code Freeze"
date.

:-)

- Kevin
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References:
GUI Elements defined: From: Bruce Megan (ST-CO/ENG2.2)
Re: GUI Elements defined: From: Gregory P Sweet
Re: GUI Elements defined: From: Chris Morton
Grammar (again!): From: Deborah Hemstreet
Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one: From: Deborah Hemstreet
Re: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one: From: John Posada
RE: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one: From: Pinkham, Jim
Re: Yet one more - really need an explanation for this one: From: Kathleen MacDowell

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