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Subject:A Periodical of Note for Technical Communicators From:John Gear <catalyst -at- PACIFIER -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 4 May 1995 11:05:00 PDT
Someone asked for periodicals of interest to Technical Writers, which I have
extended to include technical communicators.
>I loosely define periodicals as any regularly-published document of specific
>(or tangential -- if you make a good case for it) interest to most Technical
Quarterly Review of Doublespeak
Anyone interested in using language to communicate with integrity.
QRD is crisp, brief, and deadly accurate, with fresh examples
of language used to obscure rather than communicate in each issue
QRD is always a refreshing reminder that many people do care about
communicating with integrity and that circumlocutions can always
be detected by alert, critical readers and listeners.
For technical communicators, QRD can be the quarterly "booster shot"
that helps you fight off the virus of corporate-speak. I think
I always tend to write a little more clearly and directly right
after I read a QRD. There is often so much pressure to get
the "optics" right and put the best face on things ... QRD helps
remind me to focus on saying what's true instead of what someone
wishes were true.
At $10, it's the cheapest continuing graduate seminar in
(1) Format; usually text-only (although very readable), two-column,
very little white space.
(2) By concentrating on text and speech, it tends to overlook
the very powerful formatting and graphic techniques that
can be used to bury/distort/contradict the meaning of words.
(Such as in annual reports for struggling companies, cigarette ads, and
many technical reports evaluating risks of a proposed project that are
prepared by the project sponsor.)
(3) Sometimes misses the distinction between jargon and doublespeak,
which is probably more important to technical communicators than
anyone else. (Jargon, while often clumsy and graceless, is not necessarily
doublespeak, although it may be if used to slip something by the uninitiated.)
Quarterly (go figure! :^)
National Council of Teachers of English
1111 W. Kenyon Road
Urbana, IL 61801-1096
John Gear (catalyst -at- pacifier -dot- com)
All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current
conceptions and institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging
conceptions and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently
the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships. There is the
whole case against censorship in a nutshell.
--G. B. Shaw