RE: What is happening to us -- apologies and other stuff

Subject: RE: What is happening to us -- apologies and other stuff
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2012 11:21:31 -0400

First, apologies to all I managed to snag and drag down with me. Hopefully,
you are all back on regular posting again.

Second, my apologies to Connie. I was rather blatant and deliberate with
that post. Honestly, I had it all written but not posted before I read your
note to cease and desist, but after I spent the time, I posted it anyway.
We've been through that. I deserve what I get.

Third, while I led with a political statement, it wasn't politics I wanted
to comment on. I really meant to illustrate about a point that we often all
make and do. We make a comment with an assumption of how the reader will
read it. No doubt Chris thought that heading would bring responses about
editing, bad writers, and so on. So my response on candidates is about as
far off base from what I'm sure was expected as it could be, BUT it was an
appropriate response to the headline. (Just not appropriate to this list.)

I heard a lawyer once say to never ask a question you don't already know the
answer to.

I take that as never making statements or questions with the assumption
there is only one answer. Otherwise, you may get an undesirable response,
yet we can be guilty of doing just that in our writing frequently.

Most of the time, we spend so much time on our documents we tunnel vision.
We begin to see only the actions and responses we want and not all the
possible ones our readers may see.

For example, you may be working on a system and as you reach a point, you
say "reboot system". Should be obvious, right?

However, you have been working on possibly the targeting computers in the
visual system inside the simulator. As systems can all tie together, which
system do you want to reboot? If you reboot the targeting computer only
(the system you are working on), the real time generator may not update and
the universal processing computer may fail to see the change in the
targeting computer. So you meant the "visual system". But maybe you didn't,
as this needs to feed into the motion system and the instructor operator
stations (IOS) so the new targeting information can be relayed to the other
four simulators tied into this one. So maybe you really meant the motion
system, or the IOS or maybe the whole simulator needs to be rebooted.

In your mind, it is obvious.

In the reader's mind, he may be off on something completely different (per
Monty Python) and the two of you have just jumped the track.

I'm working with a guy from India originally who wears a turban. A few days
ago several of us were talking about our pasts and he makes the comment "I
haven't always looked like this" waving his hand past his face to which I
replied "What? Gray? Hey, everyone gets old eventually."

He had tunnel-visioned to what he was expecting to hear as a respond, and
direct the conversation in a direction that seemed obvious to him. He
assumed everyone would pick up on his direction.

It's really bad to quote yourself on a forum or list, but I screwed up and
illustrated my own point in a previous post. Here I am a technical writer
with far too many years under my belt, and I put in a typo. I can blame it
on this old laptop at work that the right side of the keyboard seems to skip
keys occasionally or will suddenly jump the cursor across the page, but
truth be told, I should have proofread my writing. If I didn't, how can I
expect those with no interest in writing to do so?

-----Original Message-----

Fewer places have editors. Fewer places have real writers.
Typographical errors are appearing more and more
in the newspapers across America.
Websites are loaded with them. More and more
Americas seem to place some
^^^^^^^^^ Americans

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