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Subject:What else to tech. communicators do? From:"USA::MU17692" <MU17692%USA -dot- decnet -at- USAV01 -dot- GLAXO -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 15 Nov 1994 20:32:00 EST
Dave Farkas wrote
>Rather than a sender packaging a message that causes reaction
>in the receiver, many contemporary theorists view communication
>(including technical communication) as a kind of transaction
>between two people. That is, the both the writer and the reader
>both take an active role in the process, and the meaning that
>is communicated is created by the reader as well as by the writer.
This paradigm for looking at communication is described in detail
in a book I used as a graduate student in Cognitive Science:
Nystrand, Martin. *The Structure of Written Communication:
Studies in Reciprocity between Writers and
Readers*. Orlando: Academic Press, Inc., 1986
If I remember correctly, Nystrand's research is based on studies
done in Ontario (Canada) primary and secondary schools in the 1970s.
I found the entire idea quite interesting. It certainly affects
how one would look at designing a computer interface....which
reminds me...has anyone out there read
Winograd, Terry and Flores, Fernando. *Undertsanding
Computers and Cognition*. Norwood, NJ:
Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1986
Terry Winograd wrote a famous Ph.D. dissertation titled
"Understanding Natural Language" at MIT in the 1970s.
If anyone's interested, I'd be willing to talk about
Winograd's ideas concerning the design of computers. My
computer science colleagues ridiculed his book with Flores
when it first came out. I thought it made a lot of sense.
-Mike Uhl (uhl~m -at- glaxo -dot- com)
Glaxo Inc. Research Institute
Research Triangle Park, NC