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Subject:Re: A Quandry about Titles... From:"Nancy S. Burns" <nburns -at- NOAO -dot- EDU> Date:Tue, 21 Dec 1993 13:53:31 -0825
>Dave Truman asks:
>I've normally gone with the simple, "Dave Truman, Technical Writer".
>But is this title still the best? ...
>However, I'm assuming many of us, like myself, work with print as well as
>graphics, graphic design, typography, etc.
>I'm sort of torn between "Technical Writer", or "Technical Communicator".
>They're closest to what I do, and I don't want to go for weird, off-the-wall
>stuff like "Information Delivery Practitioner" (sounds too pretentious, like
>Dave Truman -- XRT Product Documentation and General WordSmith
>KL Group Inc. | Phone: (416) 594-1026 Ext. 32
>134 Adelaide St. E, Suite 204 | Fax: (416) 594-1919
>Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1K9 CANADA | email: dave -at- klg -dot- com
>- --standard disclaimers, just to cover my butt--
I prefer Technical Writer (my own title) to Technical Communicator.
Technical Writer seems to indicate more clearly that what I do is write
about technical things; Technical Communicator seems to vague to me.
(Maybe radio talk show hosts, Click and Clack or the local tv meterologist
are technical communicators.)
Another term, Technical Author, was proposed as a job title by tekom, a
professional association of authors and publishers and the German
counterpart of STC (reference STC 's [Society for Technical
Communication] "Technical Communication" journal, third quarter 1991. The
journal article is "Job Description: Technical Author"). My problem with
the word "author" is that it tends to imply original writing, particularly
of literary books, which we don't always do in technical writing.
Documentation Specialist is a possibility, but is as vague as Technical
Communicator, neither of which clearly state that you are a writer of any
In deciding which title to use, I would consider the circumstances in which
you must often mention your title and how easy or difficult it would be for
people to grasp the essence of what you do for work from your title.
>I don't know what's netiquettely-correct, but I'll post a summary of responses
>if people want.
Yes, that would be interesting.
Nancy S. Burns
National Solar Observatory
e-mail: nburns -at- noao -dot- edu