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Re: What is happening to us -- was RE: What's wrong with this headline?
Subject:Re: What is happening to us -- was RE: What's wrong with this headline? From:Ken Poshedly <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net> To:Stephen Arrants <steve -at- mbfbioscience -dot- com>, William Sherman <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>, "salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com" <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Wed, 13 Jun 2012 10:15:15 -0700 (PDT)
AS I was saying before I hit the darn send key . . .!
I think I recall this topic cropping up here not too long ago, and I think I
said the same thing then as I will once more.
That is, perhaps we make our job look too easy.
Walk by an engineer's work station while he's got AutoCAD or Microstation
running full-tilt-boogie and to most folks, the worker is performing absolute
magic and given a little more time could possibly create gold from sandstone or
even create life in a petri dish. It doesn't matter that lots of what he or she
is composing in that multi-thousand-dollar program could "technically" be done
with PCPaintbrush. I know that's a real big stretch, but you get the idea. Ask
the engineer a question, and he or she will probably respond with tech-talk,
leaving one even more mystified. The average (non-tekkie) passerby will most
probably be in absolute awe and not even consider that he or she could actually
do those same things in that same program but only after many years of
training and experience.
However, walk an average (non-tekkie) person past any of our work stations
while we're running FrameMaker or anything else EXCEPT Word while we're
manipulating fonts, setting line spacing, balancing columns, determining how to
best and most concisely and accurately word the next step in a series of 25 or
so steps and we're almost bound to hear "Oh, I can do that!" Ask us what we do
and we'll probably respond in the same manner in which we write -- clearly,
succinctly and accurately.
Sure, you COULD do "that", but once more, only after many years of training and
Again, I say we ourselves make our jobs look too easy.
The time has come to start keeping 10 programs up and running at once and
respond only in tech-talk to all passers-by.
-- Kenneth (a name of Scottish origin), who is currently positioned in the
galactic plane on an orb with an iron-rich core surrounded by molten rock with a
surface of tectonic plates, approximately 1,500 kilometers north-northeasterly
of where the cretaceous extinction originated.
-- Ken in metro Atlanta
From: Stephen Arrants <steve -at- mbfbioscience -dot- com>
To: William Sherman <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>; "salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com"
<salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>; "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com"
<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Wed, June 13, 2012 9:32:32 AM
Subject: RE: What is happening to us -- was RE: What's wrong with this headline?
William Sherman says:
> As such, it impacts our jobs in that fewer people seem to view technical
> writers as a profession and as worth any money. After all, everyone learned
> to write in third grade.
I think the "everyone can write, we learned it in the third grade" attitude is a
big part of the problem. I've been told "Well, he has a PhD and has written
So we know he can write." But can he write accurate, concise procedures? How
about creating any of the other documents needed?
Or will editing and rewriting take me more time than doing it myself?
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