TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
I have a problem. I work for Oregon Water Resources Research
Institute, and I have a very interesting assignment. I summarize scientific
seminars for a publication directed at "knowledgeable but non-expert"
resource managers and the public.
The current seminar is on salmon recovery issues. Most of the
speakers were white male scientists presenting research findings on ocean
variability, habitat, hydropower, etc. They spoke in traditional academic
style -- four or five main points and examples to illustrate each.
One of the speakers, however, was Ted Strong, a Native American
and Executive Director of the Inter-Tribal Fish Council. His topic was
"Holistic Approaches to Integrated Watershed Management." His
presentation style illustrated his topic. His words flowed through the
complex issues, with "the whole" providing the meaning.
There doesn't seem to be any way I can pluck out four or five main
concepts, or do justice in re-interpreting his presentation; each concept is
intricately interwoven with the rest. So, I have decided that I should just
use his words throughout, deleting only enough to keep the text consistent
with the @3500 words I wrote on other speakers. I will correct only those
grammar flaws that easily creep into spoken presentations, but are so glaring
in written text.
I would appreciate hearing what others on the list think of this
Also, because English appears to be a second language for the
speaker, many of the phrases are twisted in interesting, but unusual ways,
similar to the writings of Black Elk, as translated by William Lyon. This
offers a real challenge in punctuation. If anyone is willing to read the words
of an interesting speaker, and provide some copyediting within two days, I
could e-mail my write-up.