Technical writer survey: What should we really call ourselves?

Subject: Technical writer survey: What should we really call ourselves?
From: "Geoffrey Marnell" <geoffrey -at- abelard -dot- com -dot- au>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 2009 18:07:30 +1000

Hi techwr-lers,

>From the many names we have called ourselves over the years, it is apparent
that technical writers/authors/communicators/etc have not always been
comfortable with the labels used to describe what we do in our profession.
Given that we know what we do and, more importantly, are seasoned
wordsmiths, perhaps we should wipe the slate clean and try to come up with a
name that truly captures what we do, a name that doesn't associate us with
technical matters (since many of us don't write about things that are
particularly technical) nor tie us down to writing (since many of us
communicate in ways other than by writing).

To that end, my organisation is conducting a worldwide survey to gather the
thoughts of practising technical writers on what name they think is apt for
our profession. The survey is entirely anonymous and you are all very
welcome to take part.

The survey can be found at <blocked::>

and a discussion on the names some of us now use can be found at

The results of the survey will be available at
<blocked::> on 1 November.

And just to lighten things up a little, there is a part of the survey where
you can suggest a humorous name for our profession: word pusher, meaning
engineer, technology debaffler, and so on. Go on: have some fun.

Let's put our collective wordsmithery together and see what we can come up


Geoffrey Marnell
Principal Consultant
Abelard Consulting Pty Ltd
T: +61 3 9596 3456
F: +61 3 9596 3625
W: <>


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