Re: Grammar vs Content

Subject: Re: Grammar vs Content
From: Glen Accardo <glen -at- SOFTINT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 09:21:50 -0600

Vince Putman writes:

> But, since the switch its seems that many of my new
> peers have different writing priorities. They place grammar ahead of
> content. When asked to review anything for content, its the grammar,
> spelling, and format they comment on instead of providing help on the
> subject.

> To me, this is akin to polishing the fire truck while the building
> burns down!!! Time must first be spent to understand the subject,
> then do the outline, writing, drawing, reviewing, rewriting,
> reorganizing, and more review, followed by several passes through
> for the grammar.

To which Diana Patterson responds:

> As someone who was trained both in Physics and English, may I say that grammar
> is also important. Content is find, but if a reader cannot understand it, no
> meaning is conveyed.

The problem, as I experience it is thus: I can deal with grammar, but I
don't know 100% of the software I'm documenting. I can only write my
perspective of the software, and I need developers to fill in the blanks.
And I experience the same problem as Vince: when I ask someone to review
what I've written, making sure that it is correct and complete, they point
out comma problems and other useless drivel.

Bottom line, if all the information ain't there, people CAN'T understand
the subject -- only the part of the subject that was presented. If I
knew how to make them edit "for content only" and impart the remainder
of the knowledge they possess, I'd be one very happy camper.

glen accardo glen -at- softint -dot- com
Software Interfaces, Inc. (713) 492-0707 x122
Houston, TX 77084

Did the Corinthians ever write back?

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