RE: [TechWhirl Forums] Authors who cannot write

Subject: RE: [TechWhirl Forums] Authors who cannot write
From: Lynne Wright <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com>
To: Alec Chakenov <alec -dot- chakenov -at- gmail -dot- com>, Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 19:03:28 +0000

Are you referring to SMEs expressing what they mean in their own language? That's how you end up with documentation that users can't understand... because the writer just paraphrased what an engineer or programmer said. Which, in my case, because my SMEs' first language often isn't English, would result in incomprehensible text.

Similarly, SME reviewers will often approve text that they think is ok (because they completely understand how a feature works), without realizing that it's confusing, unclear, or full of holes to somebody who's coming at the material with zero knowledge.

The tech writer has to understand what they are documenting so that they can explain it in clear simple language. It's the opposite of letting your SMEs basically write the text for you verbally.



-----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 Alec Chakenov
Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 1:50 PM
To: Peter Neilson
Cc: techwr-l
Subject: Re: [TechWhirl Forums] Authors who cannot write

It's better to ask what they actually mean, and advise them to express it
in their own language.


2013/11/13 Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>

> This document is a mess.
>>
>
> Yes, write up what you guess it's saying. Ask whether you're right. You
> might even try to use tiny sentences and short words. I'll bet the original
> contains the words 'modality' and 'intercommunication'.
>
>
>
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
New! Doc-to-Help 2013 features the industry's first HTML5 editor for authoring.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/ZeOZeQ

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You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com -dot-

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
New! Doc-to-Help 2013 features the industry's first HTML5 editor for authoring.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/ZeOZeQ

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


Follow-Ups:

References:
[TechWhirl Forums] Authors who cannot write: From: TechWhirl Community Forums
Re: [TechWhirl Forums] Authors who cannot write: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: [TechWhirl Forums] Authors who cannot write: From: Peter Neilson
Re: [TechWhirl Forums] Authors who cannot write: From: Alec Chakenov

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