Re: Trends in Tech Comm

Subject: Re: Trends in Tech Comm
From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2012 10:40:30 -0800

This put a smile on my face this morning. Thanks!

On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 9:46 AM, Jim Shaeffer <jlshaeffer -at- aol -dot- com> wrote:

>
> How to Write With Style
> by
> Kurt Vonnegut
>
>
> Newspaper reporters and technical writers are trained to reveal almost
> nothing about themselves in their writings. This makes them freaks in the
> world of writers, since almost all of the other ink-stained wretches in
> that world reveal a lot about themselves to readers. We call these
> revelations, accidental and intentional, elements of style.
>
>
>
>
> found at
> http://peterstekel.com/PDF-HTML/Kurt%20Vonnegut%20advice%20to%20writers.htm
>
>
> Jim Shaeffer
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Janoff (non-Celgene) <sjanoff -at- celgene -dot- com>
> To: techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>; Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca
> >
> Sent: Thu, Feb 2, 2012 1:26 am
> Subject: RE: Trends in Tech Comm
>
>
> I agree with what you say, and at the same time I feel that there is an
> added
> dimension that is, over time, being drained out of documentation, which is
> the
> writer's personality. In an era where consistency is a major goal, that
> may be
> fine.
>
> And yet, for me, it's a special occasion when I read something that's not
> only
> usable but also compelling. This gets into the "user experience" of
> documentation. It's more than just, "I got the information I needed."
> It's
> more like, "Wow, that was really well done!" Maybe it's just one writer
> appreciating the work of another.
>
> But I hate to see the "writer" taken out of the technical writer, is all
> I'm
> saying.
>
> A while back there was a thread on good tech writing of old, and I
> remember the
> book by John Muir was mentioned, on "Keeping Your Volkswagen Alive." I
> never
> read it, merely perused it, but I know what a classic it was. You can't
> write
> that kind of work anymore, at least not as a tech writer -- and maybe you
> never
> could, unless you went to the after market.
>
> But I feel that a writer's personality can still be maintained even with
> the
> automated writing tools of today. It's the difference between good
> documentation and great documentation. "Good" is good enough, but I
> really like
> "great." I especially like reading it, even if I can't write it.
>
> Maybe I'm just lamenting the loss of individualism that comes with
> standardization. Or, it could depend on how you come into tech writing:
> as a
> writer, a journalist, a scientist, a researcher, etc. On that basis, the
> loss
> of the writer's individualism is a very personal thing.
>
> Steve
>
>
>
>
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>
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>
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References:
Trends in Tech Comm: From: Steve Janoff (non-Celgene)
RE: Trends in Tech Comm: From: Steve Janoff (non-Celgene)
Re: Trends in Tech Comm: From: Tony Chung
RE: Trends in Tech Comm: From: Steve Janoff (non-Celgene)
Re: Trends in Tech Comm: From: Jim Shaeffer

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