RE: "The World of Technical Communication and Writing"

Subject: RE: "The World of Technical Communication and Writing"
From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>
To: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 19:53:22 +0000

Point of reference, Chris: In another post on the "Future Tech Writer with Software Questions" thread, you wrote this:

"At the bottom of it, you will have to write ABOUT something. It's no good if you don't know what you're writing about."

Writing "about," communicating "about"... I'm not sure I see the difference?



On Saturday, June 27, 2015 4:13 AM, Chris Despopoulos wrote:

Rick Lippincott said:Lots of stuff, summed up with:I think the context of the line provides enough clarity for the definition, as well as limits to it.

This in response to my objection to "...communicating about..."

Rick, I think you miss my point. I don't mind the word (or concept) "communication". What I object to is the usage. You do not communicate "about" anything, unless you mean a series of exchanged communications... A conversation. Frankly, I doubt that's what they had in mind (given the context).Â

Instead of "..communicating about..." X, the line should read "...communication of X". As a technical writer your product is the communication of technical concepts. Your product is not communication "about" these concepts -- that happens as a *result* of your product. The construct they used properly and semantically allows a lunch discussion to be called technical communication, which blows their context out of the water.
Why does this bother me? Because the STC, when crafting a definition, should be more precise if they want credibility in the field -- and they can be simply by using "communicate" correctly. Of course, it's all too easy to let such a mistake fall through the editorial process. We've all done it. And I hope we've all had boneheads (like I'm being here) to point out the error. Cud

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