Re: "The World of Technical Communication and Writing"

Subject: Re: "The World of Technical Communication and Writing"
From: Rick Lippincott <rjl6955 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:53:15 -0400

On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 1:27 AM, Chris Despopoulos
<despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:

> Actually, what worries me the most in this post is the quote from the STC -- I followed the link and found it as one bullet point for the following:"Technical communication is a broad field and includes any form of communication that exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:* Communicating about technical or specialized topics, such as computer applications, medical procedures, or environmental regulations."
> Now I wonder if they really mean to say that the field of technical communication includes people sitting around a lunch talking about the data structures they will use in a program.

Probably not, and I would argue that given the context of the cited
definition, really that lunch talk isn't included at all. I also
notice the linked page page is buried about three levels down from the
top, so presumably if you get to it from the top down on the website
(as intended) there's some context.

Or maybe we can solve the ambiguity by just changing "communication"
back to "writing," except that now you've eliminated all non-written
forms of legitimate technical...um...."information transfer" which is
why over the past few decades we migrated to the term "technical
communication" in the first place. And, also, if you want to argue
that point that the term should indeed be "communication" and not
'writing sure, but then you've just attacked the quoted definition
provided on the techwr-l website.

Or maybe we should start calling the profession what I said just above
- "technical information transfer." Oh, but wait, to go back to your
other question, does that mean if hand you a book that contains
engineering studies for the Rosetta probe, I can list it on my resume?

The answer to that is "You can put anything on your resume that your
heart desires." I'd just like to be a fly on the wall when you're in
an interview and have to explain that the three-month lecture series
on automotive engineering you've listed on the resume turns out to be
you and a couple of buddies having lunch at McDonalds and talking
about NASCAR.

Those of you that know me can probably guess the three words I'm about
to write that define what we do: "We explain things." But I'll be the
first to admit that no, that doesn't include yesterday's chat with a
colleague on why most jet aircraft have swept wings.

I think the context of the line provides enough clarity for the
definition, as well as limits to it. To paraphrase Groucho Marx,
outside of a lawyer you're not going to be able to come up with a
definition of the profession that is airtight. Inside of a lawyer,
it's too dark to write.

--Rick Lippincott

On 6/26/15, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:
> I think this problem is inherent with "communication," which is why I
> have never liked "technical communications."
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
> On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 1:27 AM, Chris Despopoulos
> <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
>> Actually, what worries me the most in this post is the quote from the STC
>> -- I followed the link and found it as one bullet point for the
>> following:"Technical communication is a broad field and includes any form
>> of communication that exhibits one or more of the following
>> characteristics:* Communicating about technical or specialized topics,
>> such as computer applications, medical procedures, or environmental
>> regulations."
>> Now I wonder if they really mean to say that the field of technical
>> communication includes people sitting around a lunch talking about the
>> data structures they will use in a program. Or if sending you an email
>> that says, "I don't get it" is also included in the definition -- Can the
>> author of that email put "Technical Communicator" on his resume?
>>
>> "Communicating about" only works in the massive sense, where you describe
>> the exchange of multiple communications. "Communicating about" is roughly
>> synonymous to "talking about". Personally, I find it hard to believe this
>> was the intent of that bullet point -- This blog post should have put a
>> "sic" after that quote. The bullet point should read, "The communication
>> of technical or specialized topics..."
>> My 2 cents... cud
>>
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> Learn more about Adobe Technical Communication Suite (2015 Release) |
>> http://bit.ly/1FR7zNW
>>
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>>
>> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as techwr -at- genek -dot- com -dot-
>>
>> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
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>>
>> 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
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Learn more about Adobe Technical Communication Suite (2015 Release) |
> http://bit.ly/1FR7zNW
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as rjl6955 -at- gmail -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
>
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Learn more about Adobe Technical Communication Suite (2015 Release) | http://bit.ly/1FR7zNW

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

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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


References:
Re: "The World of Technical Communication and Writing": From: Chris Despopoulos
Re: "The World of Technical Communication and Writing": From: Gene Kim-Eng

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