Re: You Use 'you'?

Subject: Re: You Use 'you'?
From: Len Olszewski <saslpo -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 1994 10:55:12 -0400

Arlen Walker talks about coping with a bad style:


> Remember, we're living in the real world. Like
> their audiences, writers are human. If a given writer is not confortable
> with a writing style imposed from without, there are three options:

> A) Write it in that style anyway, and end up doing it badly because you
> just can't get into the flow of the document.

> B) Write it the best way you know how, and be prepared to justify your
> choices (and suffer for them, possibly leading to C).

> C) Find another job.


I remember several years ago when I signed onto a project after the
first draft was written by somebody else, and I took over at the first
revisions stage. This was a multi-writer project, and I shared
responsibility for writing certain chapters with another writer. The
writer in question had developed a standard for showing examples at the
end of each reference entry that I found to be appallingly bad.

I successfully made the argument to change to a better, more tabular
style for examples for some of the element types. For most of the
others, I lost the arguement. I was stuck with the other writer's
clumsy, inadequate technique. I used it, completed my sections on time,
paid the bills, and moved on.

Years later, the project manager (who used portions of the original
document in other documents, and who now faces a general update of the
entire document for an upcoming new version) indicated she thought my
way was better all along. I now manage another group. The other writer
is still with the company, but doesn't write documentation anymore.

The moral to this story? Hey, *you* figure it out.

|Len Olszewski, Project Manager | "Eat well, stay fit, die anyway." |
|saslpo -at- unx -dot- sas -dot- com|Cary, NC, USA| - Bumper sticker |
| Opinions this ludicrous are mine. Reasonable opinions will cost you.|

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