Re: "Real" Technical Writers

Subject: Re: "Real" Technical Writers
From: Steve Fouts <sfouts -at- ELLISON -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1993 10:25:18 CDT

> > RE "We feel that the true
> > technical writers are left out."
> >
> > Now seems to be as good a time as any to start this debate: what
> > exactly is a "real" technical writer.

> Let's leave the "real" technical writer discussion off-line, before
> it degenerates into heated argument, overblown rhetoric, and bad
> jokes about "real" technical writers not eating quiche.

Naw, I really enjoy a good flame war over coffee in the morning. When I'm
feeling down I like to read some petty bickering and pointless rhetoric.
Oh sure, I could just monitor alt.politics.clinton or but who
wants to wade through all that?

No, seriously, if the folks on this group are interested in this particular
thread, that's fine. It chews a little bit of bandwidth for topics that I'm
not particularly interested in, but that's why there's a subject line
and a delete button.

To be perfectly honest, I probably axe about 50% of this news group based on
subject line alone already. I say we allow and encourage any discussion that
is remotely related to the field and even some "slop." We're trying for a
free discussion of the profession here. You wanna discuss it? Do it. I don't
HAVE to read it.

The best piece of technical communication that I have read in a while is the
guide that came with my '92 Chevy PU. It certainly didn't take a computer
science major to write this book, but it is a well written, well organized,
easy to navigate book written in extremely simple English without ever once
being condescending. Wow. Now that person or team was good. It tells most of
the intended audience how to operate the device. <-- Period! English speaking
illiterate or semi-literate buyers can use the audio cassette, also very well
done, and there are instructions on how to get the Spanish language cassette.
Wow again.

Now those folks are whats good about the profession and I don't really give a
rats patoot that they aren't writing about DRAM, SRAM, and MOS/FETs with their
EE/technical communication double major, they can join my club any time.

* _ ___ * Steve Fouts
* ( |____| * sfouts -at- ellison -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com
* _ /\ |\ _ *
* / / \ _| \ \ * My philosophy of life is that the meek shall inherit
* ( * ) \/_|__* ) * nothing but debasement, frustration, and ignoble deaths.
* \_/ _/ \_/ * -Harlan Ellison

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