Re: Silly jargon (Uncooperative SMEs)

Subject: Re: Silly jargon (Uncooperative SMEs)
From: mpriestley -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 1995 11:23:56 EDT

Bev Parks writes (wrt subject expert vs subject matter expert):

>So this must make you a "technical matter writer." As simply a
>"technical writer" you could be a writer who is overly concerned
>with technique. Thus, "technical writer" could apply to any kind
>of writer: children's books, poetry, greeting cards. (If this

I think you're right. A fiction writer could be described as technical, as
opposed to slipshod or spontaneous. Maybe that's why they call us
Information Developers around here. (infodev-l? Nah.) I'm sure the meaning
would be clear from the context, but then, so would the meaning of "subject
expert", in all likelihood.

My point? Right on the top of my head, but if I comb my hair just right
nobody'll notice...

Chalk it up to tradition. Four out of five technical subject matter expert
writers agree that they know what an SME (or a SME, depending on how you
pronounce it) is, and they know what a technical writer is, and changing the
words at this late date has a 75% likelihood (19 out of 20 times) to send
them plunging over the brink into the depths of madness. (The fifth TSMWE
was taking a coffee break and missed the survey).

Michael Priestley
mpriestley -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com
Disclaimer: speaking on my own behalf, not IBM's.

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