RE: Address this. . .

Subject: RE: Address this. . .
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com" <kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 12:03:49 -0400

> [mailto:kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com] wondered:

> I recently read a book called "Weird Ideas that Work," which analyzes
> how companies can promote innovation. One of the things he
> says is that
> people don't like change. Is that what's going on here,
> Kevin? I'm a bit
> puzzled about how you've rejected peoples' comments, unless they agree
> with your way of doing things.
> Were you just looking for validation when you originally
> wrote? My take
> on the responses is that some people see the term "address"
> the same way
> you do, and others don't. Same for how to deal with release notes.
> If it works for your company and you're happy with it, I don't
> understand all the hoo hah.

You don't know what I've rejected.
I've already removed the offending phrase from two
Release Notes, and will be doing so for other
products as they come up for any kind of update or
other excuse to re-issue release notes. I'm doing
that regardless of the outcome of the current
discussion, because it's no great loss to trim some
boilerplate to reduce even minority confusion (or
opportunities for self-serving re-definition).

Have you been paying attention to _why_ -- on what basis
I've been resisting/rejecting some comments?
Hell, yes, I'd like some validation - and I've gotten
some both on and off list. Who doesn't like a little
validation now and then? :-)

Actually I've seen _both_ interpretations, mine and
(I guess) yours in this list.

As noted in my other recent e-mail, I have had no _reason_ to
change until just last week, after 12 years of doing it the
way I've been doing it.

I don't necessarily leap to embrace every opportunity
for change. Some folks value a certain consistency,
and advocate change-for-good reason. Therefore, it
behooves one - in that camp anyway - to do a bit of
digging and cogitating and maybe even discussing/arguing
before changing. Don't just fall over at every breeze.

I've never liked Humpty-Dumpty.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a
scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to
mean - neither more nor less."

And then, I quoted two dictionaries, one widely used
in the USofA and the other widely used in Britain,
neither of which had even a suggestion that "address"
means "fix".

Only the AHD (does it exist on-line?) seems to have
a hint in that direction.

What it comes down to is not:

Am I wrong to continue using the phrase "To be
addressed in a future release"?


WAS I wrong by any modestly objective standard
to have previously used the phrase?

That is, should I throw myself in front of the bus,
tendering my resignation or whatever, if the
company feels sufficiently pressured to go back
and perform the work they'd decided not to (and
which is not in a budget or schedule, and which
will inevitably take away from other developments
and fixes affecting hundreds of other customers?

Or should I just say "The wind changed while I was
looking elsewhere, and I'll ... _address_ the change
in all future docs, but I'm not prepared to take
retroactive responsibility for other people's
self-serving minority opinions when it was not
an issue for 12 years."

So, the question became _was_ it a minority opinion?
Other than a small cluster of writers who believe
that 'address' means 'fix' (and I want to see you
argue that with your local city council next time
they 'address' something not to your satisfaction)
and who have each posted a couple of times
(and by the way, why are _they_ so reluctant to
change their view? ;-> ), I didn't see an overwhelming
surge in either direction.

I guess, when it comes down to it, I try not to
be a politician/weather-vane, particularly in my
use of language.

- Kevin (backing into the future in curmudgeonly fashion)

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RE: Address this. . .: From: kathleen

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