Re: Classic case of SMEese…

Subject: Re: Classic case of SMEese…
From: Phil Snow Leopard <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2012 10:02:45 +0700

The thing is you can see he's really trying and has put a lot of thought and effort into it, but - like a lot of technical experts rather than technical writers (we hope!) - has no idea of how it comes across to the reader.

Aside from the crazy hierarchy-less formatting, the things that struck me were:

1. He starts with a terrifying statement of 'this is complicated' - :(
2. He never explains what resetting ACL permissions has got to do with her problem
3. Why give three methods for opening Terminal, rather than just one?
4. Why mention all the kerfuffle about sudo, when he could have just given the entire command with sudo to start with?
5. What does the OP do after this procedure? Will she find her missing work (actually no, what he's doing is telling her how to stop that problem happening again).


On 17 Jun 2012, at 02:20, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:

> Well, I can understand the OP's frustration, what with everything he's typing being allowed to run around loose... Imagine all those free range words hiding under furniture, being pulled into the air conditioning return and clogging filters, driving the cats crazy, etc.
> At least with Eudora he can put them into a chain email and send them to other people to get them out from underfoot.
> On 6/16/2012 9:49 AM, Phil Snow Leopard wrote:
>> …or 'how not to write user assistance'.
>> Had to share this with you as the OP's reply (3rd post) made me laugh out loud!

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help. Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need.

Try Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.


You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @

Classic case of SMEese…: From: Phil Snow Leopard
Re: Classic case of SMEese…: From: Gene Kim-Eng

Previous by Author: Classic case of SMEese…
Next by Author: Re: Client/Server vs. Server/Client
Previous by Thread: Re: Classic case of SMEese…
Next by Thread: Secure password explanation?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads