RE: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?

Subject: RE: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?
From: "Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 14:26:06 -0400

Not knowing what browser one is using isn't akin to not knowing how the
car works. It's more akin to not knowing what kind of car one drives, or
perhaps, if it's a manual or an automatic.

Some things I've heard said by reasonably intelligent adults (and the
automobile equivalents):

"I have the internet on my computer." ("I have the auto industry in my
garage.")
"I want to read your blog. What's the email address for it?" ("I would
like to ride in your car with you. Shall I hop on and start pedaling?")
"I was editing the document in Microsoft." ("I was driving down the road
in the Ford Motor Company.")
"I have Adobe. Can we edit it with that?" ("I have AMC. Can we drive
there in that?")

People regularly mix up email and browsers, refer to a program only by
the maker's name, etc.

Probably, we have too much to think about. Certainly, as long as we
click the right icon, it doesn't matter if we call Photoshop and Acrobat
both by the same name, or confuse a URL with an email address. But it
does mean that, as writers, we're dealing with a public who can't be
bothered to use the right words, but who will certainly be unhappy if we
don't. But it's not the same as not knowing how to make a corset or
repair a carburetor.

And then we have to define what "it" is. As in, "It's broken. When I
press the button, it doesn't work. Can you fix it?"

- Madelyn
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?: From: Daniel Ng
Re: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?: From: Gene Kim-Eng
RE: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?: From: Sharon Burton

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