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.
I enjoy the fact that you are a thoughtful person, and not afraid to speak
However . . .
My entire statement that you misquoted is shown below, with the words you
selectively truncated shown in all caps.
FURTHER TO THAT: IN MY EXPERIENCE, MANY (BUT CERTAINLY NOT ALL) Technical
"writers" who are not degreed in the profession, and/or who simply drifted
into it from some other profession, are lousy writers who do not
understand the basic precepts of grammer, syntax, punctuation, style . .
I say your truncation DOES change the meaning to support your subsequent
statements. But enough of that. Can you tell me, specifically, what part of
the above statement is untrue?
For the record . . .
I absolutely do not believe that TW certification should be mandatory. I
would be one of the first to rise up against such a notion.
I DO firmly believe that certification should be an option available to tech
writers who are interested in demonstrating to naive prospective employers
that a board of their peers feels that they can cut the mustard. Many, if
not most, employers are helpless in this arena; their HR department doesn't
have a clue, and the TW department manager is frequently much more of a
manager than a tech writing expert. Bad writing screws the user first.
Laissez-faire doesn't ripple down to punish the employer, who then fires the
writer, etc., for a long time.
A perenial gripe of tech writers throughout industry is the lack of respect
shown to TW as a profession. We talk glibly to each other about our dreams
and achievements at local, regional, and national conventions, yet many
prospective employers continue to view us as flunkies -- a necessary evil
that sucks up overhead money with no visible evidence of ROI. Sometimes the
employers are are right. A properly designed and administered certification
program can change that.
I hate threads that drag on long after they are worn out, but I think
professional credibility is important to us. If people start talking about
it, maybe it will happen. If certification isn't the answer, perhaps will
suggest the RIGHT answer.
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Certification
Date: Thursday, July 13, 1995 8:29AM
The only thing you have said here that I disagree with is that, in
omitting part of my statement you effectively misquoted me in the
As far as I can tell, the only thing I left out of your quote was the word
"many" which was in the line or two before where I started my quote.
that word wouldn't have changed anything I wrote. If you feel I did you an
injustice by leaving that word out of the quote, I apologize. The only
I did was sheer convenience on my part -- it's easier to delete complete
than partial ones.