Re: techwriting style vs press release

Subject: Re: techwriting style vs press release
From: sphilip <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: Wed, 26 Sep 2012 12:09:48 +0700

I haven't been following most of this thread, but a couple of posts I glanced at reminded me of an article by Ellis Pratt in the UK (he runs a large tech writer supply agency there called 'Cherryleaf').

He argues that there is room for 'the emotion factor' in technical writing (i.e., more colourful and emotive language) to help manage the user's experience.

His article appears in the UK's ISTC publication 'Communicator' and in his edited collection 'Trends in Technical Communication' (an e-book you can get from Amazon) should anyone be interested in looking it up.



Phil
http://applehelpwriter.wordpress.com



On 26 Sep 2012, at 01:30, Lynne Wright <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com> wrote:

> To say that tech writers should be taught poetry is like saying that mechanics should learn ballet.
>
> Both disciplines involve words, but that's all they have in common.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Porrello, Leonard [mailto:lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com]
> Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 2:24 PM
> To: Lynne Wright; Combs, Richard; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: techwriting style vs press release
>
> Perhaps your (and Richard's) understanding of poetry is too narrow. There are many schools of thought regarding the purpose of poetry. For example, some say that the point of poetry is to express oneself; others; to reveal truth and beauty. Of course, it can do either or both and many other things as well. All agree that poetry requires extreme concision and precision. These two qualities are also essential for excellent technical writing. Poetry, like good technical writing, also needs to engage readers while leading them to the conclusion that the author intends. Like the best poetry, good technical writing needs to be inexorably truthful. So, just as we can say that good poetry must be concise, precise, engaging, controlling, and truthful, we can say the same for excellent technical writing.
>
> By the way, I agree with your assertion that bad "poetry" (if you can call it poetry) is as ubiquitous as bad tech writing. But again, this is just one additional reason to teach poetry.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lynne Wright [mailto:Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com]
> Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 11:08 AM
> To: Combs, Richard; Porrello, Leonard; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: [SPAM] RE: techwriting style vs press release
> Importance: Low
>
> Anybody who's gone to open mic night at the spoken word café or thumbed through a lesser literary mag will know that there is AT LEAST as much tremendously awful poetry as there is bad tech writing.
>
> Yes, being able to apply some creative problem-solving skills will improve your output, but knowing how to craft oblique metaphors and pretty wordscapes? Can't see that being useful in a medium where the key is to communicate simply and directly.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Combs, Richard
> Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 1:56 PM
> To: Porrello, Leonard; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: techwriting style vs press release
>
> Porrello, Leonard wrote:
>
>> And once again American anti-intellectualism rears its ugly head. The
>> poet is one who has mastered the most difficult aspects of language.
>> Going back to Plato, most if not all of the greatest prose writers in
>> the western intellectual tradition were also poets.
>>
>> Why would anyone want to keep students away, for any amount of time,
>> from the best examples of great writing that our culture has to offer?
>> If everyone who wanted to write were trained by a poet, the airwaves
>> and internet wouldn't be so full of nonsense. Technical documents
>> wouldn't be so poorly written. The problem with commercial writing
>> isn't that writers can't master story telling or economy or who, what,
>> where, when, why, and how. It is that they have no poetic sense.
>
> I've encountered quite a bit of bad technical documentation over the years. In no case have I ever thought that the problem was lack of poetic sense, imagery, emotions, or self-expression. :-)
>
> Richard G. Combs
> Senior Technical Writer
> Polycom, Inc.
> richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
> 303-223-5111
> ------
> rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
> 303-903-6372
> ------
>
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References:
RE: techwriting style vs press release: From: Bowes, Rebecca
Re: techwriting style vs press release: From: Peter Neilson
RE: techwriting style vs press release: From: Brian.Henderson
RE: techwriting style vs press release: From: Porrello, Leonard
RE: techwriting style vs press release: From: Combs, Richard
RE: techwriting style vs press release: From: Lynne Wright
RE: techwriting style vs press release: From: Porrello, Leonard
RE: techwriting style vs press release: From: Lynne Wright

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