Re: Writing to your audience

Subject: Re: Writing to your audience
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2011 14:32:35 -0500

On 02/28/2011 01:54 PM, Dan Goldstein wrote:

not the audience's fault.

I think there are ways it can be their fault.

AUDIENCE FAULT #1 -- ambition ...

Initially: "Why of course I understand algebra. No problem."

Later: "What's all this math? Math hurts my head. Why can't you explain so I can understand?"

Even then, a proper audience analysis maybe should discover that you're writing for liars, cutthroats or thieves. (Yes, thieves. Abbie Hoffman: Steal This Book, 1970.)

Of course the TW does not always have the luxury of doing audience analysis.

AUDIENCE FAULT #2 -- distraction ...

Initially: "THESE BOOKS CONTAIN THE INSTRUCTIONS. READ THEM."
Eventually it's time to read, "Look at all the pretty pictures in these magazines. I'll get to the books later."
Still later: "No, I didn't have time to read the books, but I'm sure I know the material anyway."

Faults #3 and #4 (uglification and derision) remain as an exercise for the reader.

MORAL...

Sometimes it's up to us to make the material much more compelling than the pretty pictures in the magazines, or to provide extra lessons in algebra for total idiots.
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Follow-Ups:

References:
RE: Writing to your audience: From: Dan Goldstein
Re: Writing to your audience: From: Phil
RE: Writing to your audience: From: Porrello, Leonard
RE: Writing to your audience: From: Dan Goldstein

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