Re: A question/comment, or "rehearsing" email

Subject: Re: A question/comment, or "rehearsing" email
From: Faith Weber <weber -at- EASI -dot- ENET -dot- DEC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 6 May 1993 11:41:44 PDT

Larry Slack writes:

>time. The beauty of E-Mail (or for that matter, word processing vs a
>typewriter and a single piece of paper) is that one can "rehearse" what you
>want to communicate, carefuly hone the message, and then send it off when
>you have it The Way You Want It. I still may mis-communicate something (or
>blather on, sorta' like ... now!) but at least I took the opportunity to
>"rehearse" what I wanted to communicate.

>I suppose I wish more folks would take the time to "rehearse"? I remember
>hearing that although we have made great strides in technology, we still
>have a lot to learn as responsible humans (and communicating is a part of
>being human). To my way of thinking, the current state of the average
>E-Mail note is a perfect example.


I tend to agree. The thing that bothers me sometimes at work is that
even if someone makes a typo or other careless error that could
completely obscure their meaning, and I point it out and correct it
so there is no misunderstanding, that's viewed as being very nit-
picky. I mean, I don't correct someone who types "teh" instead of
"the". I'll only say something if there's more than one possible
interpretation, or if the message doesn't make sense at all.

I can understand a certain amount of embarrassment, but some
folks seem to think everyone will know what they mean even if they
do not state it clearly. If everyone doesn't understand, then the
readers must be at fault rather than the author. The feeling is "I don't
want to waste my time thinking of how to say something clearly; others
should understand what I was thinking."

Most people don't behave this way, but those who do make it that much
more difficult for us to get respect as technical communicators.

The only conclusion I can come to is that we value clear communication
more than others do. That's not surprising given that it's our
profession, but for me at least it is disappointing because I think
lack of clear communication is at least partially responsible for
a lot of the world's problems!!

Faith Weber
weber -at- easi -dot- enet -dot- dec -dot- com

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