Re: A little machoist antler-crashing

Subject: Re: A little machoist antler-crashing
From: Brian Daley <briand -at- MEI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1993 07:36:29 -0600

What the heck! I'll crash antlers (for a while, anyway)! :-)

Mark Levinson writes:

>** Technology, at the level where most technical writers deal with it, is
> just a pile of information.

If you're writing theory of operation for hardware designed by your company
and technology is just a pile of information you don't understand, then you
need to be led step by step by your engineer through his schematic diagrams
in order to write your theory. You're more of a time drain on him, so the
tech writing profession suffers a lack of respect because we can't do the
things to make the company more efficient. At least in our
engineering-driven company, and probably many others, an engineer's time is
too valuable to be spent documenting, so the less we impact on their
priorities the better.

In many companies, tech writers are viewed as overhead, a necessary evil.
We need to change the mindset of upper management by making ourselves more
valuable to the company, and in a cutting-edge corporation, and with our
profession changing with new technological developments, you must be
techologically capable.

> Writing, at any level, is an art. It has
> a lifetimeful of rules, and no rules.

So, can you do whatever you want? To be honest, and maybe I'm missing the
boat, I don't see a whole lot of art in the manuals we produce. Sure,
there's good and bad design aspects, but to call writing a step-by step
adjustment procedure doesn't seem like art to me.



"What matters is not DOW's average, but YOUR average."

- commentator Jim Hightower, WTMJ Radio


Brian Daley | Marquette Electronics, Inc.
briand -at- mei -dot- com | Diagnostic Division - Technical Communication
(414) 362-3133 | 8200 West Tower Avenue
FAX: (414) 357-5988 | Milwaukee, WI 53223 USA

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