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.
Subject:Re: Technical writing vs. engineering From:chuckm -at- MDHOST -dot- CSE -dot- TEK -dot- COM Date:Fri, 28 Apr 1995 13:39:11 PDT
I'll keep this short.
When I am told that someone who is not a tech writer can do my job as
well as I can, I ask:
If it is true that anyone that speaks english can do my job as well as
me, then by analogy, it must also be true that anyone that can make a mark
on a piece of paper can be an artist.
So, (hypothetically speaking) here is a piece of paper and a pencil.
Draw me a portrait of anyone you like. It must be good enough that
people will pay good money for it and that an art critic would recognize
as art and not dismiss as chicken scratching.
The basic point of this being that the ability to use the tools of a
tech writer does not make one a tech writer anymore than the ability
to cut something with a scalpel makes one a surgeon. This isn't a perfect
analogy, but it gets the point across.