RE: Technical writer survey: What should we really call ourselves?

Subject: RE: Technical writer survey: What should we really call ourselves?
From: "Leonard C. Porrello" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>
To: "Leonard C. Porrello" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>, "Geoffrey Marnell" <geoffrey -at- abelard -dot- com -dot- au>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 10:40:29 -0700

Ooops, typo! I (obviously) meant to say "Technical writing is similar to
other professions"!

Leonard

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c
om] On Behalf Of Leonard C. Porrello
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 10:31 AM
To: Geoffrey Marnell; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Technical writer survey: What should we really call
ourselves?

For starters, I would never refer to us as "wordsmiths." Software
engineers aren't called codesmiths; surgeons aren't called bodysmiths;
lawyers aren't called lawsmiths; actuaries aren't called statsmiths; and
even a dentist, whose work is very close to that of the artisan, isn't
called a toothsmith. Technical writing is similar to other processions,
and it is not an artisan skill or craft.

Leonard


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c
om] On Behalf Of Geoffrey Marnell
Sent: Saturday, August 08, 2009 1:08 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Technical writer survey: What should we really call ourselves?

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::http://www.abelard.com.au/survey.html>
http://www.abelard.com.au/survey.html

and a discussion on the names some of us now use can be found at
<blocked::http://www.abelard.com.au/words-1-3.pdf>
http://www.abelard.com.au/words-1-3.pdf.

The results of the survey will be available at
<blocked::http://www.abelard.com.au/survey.html>
http://www.abelard.com.au/survey.html 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
with.

Cheers

Geoffrey Marnell
Principal Consultant
Abelard Consulting Pty Ltd
T: +61 3 9596 3456
F: +61 3 9596 3625
W: <http://www.abelard.com.au/> www.abelard.com.au

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!
http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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References:
Technical writer survey: What should we really call ourselves?: From: Geoffrey Marnell
RE: Technical writer survey: What should we really call ourselves?: From: Leonard C. Porrello

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