Re: Ego

Subject: Re: Ego
From: fretz <tscom002 -at- 129 -dot- 25 -dot- 3 -dot- 11>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1993 17:56:37 -0500

Another writer writes about making technical writing more personable.
It is refreshing to read a piece that comes across as "friendly". Anyone
else have thoughts?

>Standard practice
seems to be for the writer to be invisible,
>ego-less. For a reference work, perhaps, but what about tutorials,
>introductory pieces, etc?

>** Often an identifiable writer-ego works well in third-party documentation,
> in the manufacturer's own documentation it can be cumbersome. Every
> company I've worked for suffers enough panic just producing accurate manuals
> without making sure that the quality of humor is not strained. I imagine
> there's nothing more irritating to a user than a giggling writer who has
> the facts wrong.

> The Durante Effect is also a problem: everybody wants to get inta da act.
> Who decides what writers (or user interface developers) have the proper
> personality to showcase? I don't know any companies with in-house literary
> critics.

> Personally, for that reason, I'd exclude even amusing names like Phil
> O'Dendron, but in general I agree strongly with Sue Gallagher's image
> of "me the book." The book shouldn't say "Help, I'm a creative genius
> cruelly consigned to technical writing." It should be conversational
> for the sake of comfortable reading. It should say, "I was born
> just to help you."
>Mark L. Levinson, SEE Technologies, Box 544, Herzlia, Israel
>mark -at- matis -dot- ingr -dot- com | voice +972-9-584684, ext. 230 | fax +972-9-543917

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