RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!

Subject: RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!
From: "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>
To: 'Michael West' <mike -dot- west -at- bigpond -dot- com>, 'Edwin Skau' <eddy -dot- skau -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 20:54:44 +0000

I agree that "well-educated" carries the connotation that you suggest, and I too see no good reason why an engineer with a university degree shouldn't be able to write competently. I would add that it is dangerous to omit humanities from any university curriculum, and I share some of your distain for contemporary education, in which people can earn degrees in subjects that have little content in themselves, such as "education," or in which the content is highly limited and, therefore, of dubious value, such as in "ethnic studies." Anyone who graduates with a university degree should be able to write competently. On the other hand, I prefer the European model in which not everyone is expected to go to university and in which trade schools play a much greater role.

I wonder if Technical Writing should be a university degree or trade school certificate. How about engineering?


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael West [mailto:mike -dot- west -at- bigpond -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2011 12:59 PM
To: Porrello, Leonard; 'Edwin Skau'
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!

Oh, dear. Perhaps I am a relic of a dead civilization. When I speak of a
well-educated person, I do not mean someone who plays basketball well, nor
do I believe the purpose of education to produce basketball players, nor in
the world I inhabit can a person unable to write a coherent paragraph be
regarded as a well-educated person. In the culture I live in, a
well-educated person, whatever his or her occupational specialty, knows how
to process, evaluate and communicate information in a manner appropriate to
the audience and the subject matter.

A "consultant" who can't write clearly and succinctly? There was a time when
that would have been regarded as comical.

-----Original Message-----
From: Porrello, Leonard [mailto:lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, 11 October 2011 4:19 AM
To: 'Michael West'; 'Edwin Skau'
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!

By "different language," I thought Edwin was using "language" loosely to
describe different modes of thinking. Some people "think" primarily
kinesthetically; others are primarily visuospatial, auditory, olfactory,
gustatory, and even social thinkers. Someone who is a genius at and very
well educated in basketball may not be able to write a coherent paragraph.
Similarly, someone who can write and even reason exceptionally well may not
be able to do advanced mathematics well (and vice-versa). And then there is
wisdom, which is apparently transcendent.



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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Michael West
Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Edwin Skau
RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Michael West
RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Porrello, Leonard
RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Michael West

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