Re: Messages. . .

Subject: Re: Messages. . .
Date: Mon, 24 May 1993 18:23:15 -0400

I'm not a tech-writer, but I would like to contribute to the discussion on
accuracy and precision in communications. Two perspectives:

1. Communication can not occur independent of context. There must be a medium
to carry the signals (visual, auditory, digital, etc.), and there must be an
agreed upon protocol (language, meaning of handsigns, etc.). Good
communication effects a change in behavior. Something happens because of the
exchange. Some message is transferred. If the intent is to instruct, as it
often is in tech-writing, then the measure of the communication is the
effectiveness of the instruction, ie, did the receiver learn - was there a
positive beneficial change in behavior that may be attributed to the
instructional message?

The definition of communication disorder may be instructive. A communication
disorder is present when the means of message production interferes
significantly in the conveyance of the message. Severe stuttering is one
example. Another might be the transmission of an electronic mail message with
line noise clutter, or extra line breaks. Transposition errors, and minor
spelling mistakes usually do not fall into this category, since the message is
usually not seriously degraded by these errors.

2. There is a diminishing marginal return on accuracy and preciseness in most
communication. It may be worth the effort to proof read an e-mail message once
before hitting the send key, but insisting on perfection, or near perfection in
communication may not be cost effective, depending on the purpose of the
communication. In our e-mail here, a reasonable level of accuracy and
preciseness is appropriate. Demanding (of yourself, or others) a near perfect
script in this forum may have several unwanted results. The free-flow of ideas
may be inhibited, slowed or discouraged. Some individuals who do not have
handy editors may not participate as frequently as they would in a more
"forgiving" environment. The process of sending the "prettied-up" message may
interfere with sending the timely message- same message. Insisting on an
inapporpriate level of accuracy among collegues of good will seems to me to be
like nit-picking, and nobody likes to be nit-picked.

How many mistakes did I make in the above? Is this good enough? Or does my
message suffer seriously from it's flaws in form?

npArry -at- colgateu -dot- bitnet
If the intent is
to impress upon others your "professionalism,"

Previous by Author: Engineering Programs that Require Tech Writing
Next by Author: CAMBRIDGE
Previous by Thread: Re: Messages. . .
Next by Thread: Re: Messages. . .

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads