Re: If you are not a tech writer...

Subject: Re: If you are not a tech writer...
From: Ad absurdum per aspera <JTCHEW -at- LBL -dot- GOV>
Date: Fri, 7 May 1993 22:21:33 GMT

As far as I'm concerned, "professional" has become mere
stylistic garnish. Naah, it's not even garnish anymore --
it's a lot closer to the little decorative bit of cellophane
on the hors d'oevure skewers.

I'll entertain exceptions in the case of Professional
Engineers and other examples of strictly construed meaning
within some system of governance. Otherwise...if you ask
whether I'm a professional writer, I'm likely to respond, "No,
I'm an amateur -- sitting here at 7 in the morning indexing
this %^$*# -at- ! software manual for the sheer love of it!"

Underneath the sarcasm, there may even be meaning in there.
I've heard all kinds of definitions of "professionalism" in
technical writing, ranging from educational qualifications all
the way down to (so help me God) wearing a suit and tie to the
office. But if I had to offer a single, simple definition of
professionalism, I'd say, "Continuing to plug away when the
going gets tough." Any amateur can do the easy jobs.

"The pallid pimp of the dead-line/The enervate of the pen" -Robert Service

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