Re: Primordial technical writing

Subject: Re: Primordial technical writing
From: Steve Fouts <sfouts -at- ELLISON -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1993 16:03:43 CDT

Though the previous couple of posts have been enlightening, the first tech
writer was actually a caveperson using a stick to draw in the dirt. Though
most of the information in sketchy at best, we do know the following facts:

Proto Technical Writer was, in fact, the first to make a distinction between
hardware (club) and not-nearly-as-hard ware (skull). The concept of "soft"
ware did not arrive for many years due to the lack of the concept "soft."

The entire production of this writer was the scratching of the now
universally recognized warning symbol in the dirt followed by a simple
graphic designed to mean,

/_\ "Stay away from "Thag" or he'll hit your head with a
/| |\ big stick." (No translation to ASCII art available)
/ |_| \

The first reviewer misunderstood the graphic to mean get away from >me< or
I'll hit you with a big stick, and took preemptive measures, thus a
promising career was struck short. This is generally attributed to an errant
use of third person (which, as every good technical writer knows obscures
the actor.) No further technical writing was done until the publication of
the standardised editor's proof marks for obvious reasons. Thanks to Mr.
Peabody's School for the Extremely Clever and the Wayback (TM) machine for
clearing this up.


******************** Steve Fouts
* _ ___ * sfouts -at- ellison -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com
* ( |____| *
* _ /\ |\ _ * "a little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of
* / / \ _| \ \ * explanation."
* ( * ) \/_|__* ) * --H. H. Munro
* \_/ _/ \_/ * <Boilerplate disclaimer here>

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