Subject: MODEST REPLY to "Re: "Newbie" - ALL PLEASE READ!"
From: Howard <howardg -at- SAVVY -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 08:56:52 -0400


I believe that Ms. Bergen, who is obviously a seasoned technical writer
of passion and merit, has forgotten the rules of the trade. These can be
found in the FAQ on the listserver of SUNY
Oneonta, a well-known teachers college located in scenic yet snowy
upstate New York.

Without further delay, then, let us review Ms. Bergen's conclusion.

Point first:
>>Let's READ the posts before we jump to the Reply button.

==This statement surely violates the first cardinal rule for many
technical writers (present company excluded, perhaps):
++ never thoroughly read any document ++

Point second:
>> Don't change the words of the original poster (i.e., "grammar" to
"writing" skills, and "education" to a "degree").

== Apparently the author has forgotten that it is imperative for us to
revise and edit the content provided. We--as gatekeepers of the language
of how-to, grammarians of gadgets, instructors to the clueless--must
constantly change the words we see, hear, and (if allowed to play with
those magnets on the fridge) touch. After all, WE know better. WE are
walking, talking thesaurii, thesaurisim, thesauruses-- ahh-- offspring of
Roget. You get the drift.

Point third:
>>And don't try to second-guess anyone's intention.

==As stated above, WE KNOW BETTER. WE write the books that make the whole
world compute, mix, medicate, repair, fold, spindle, mutilate, and even
open those little tear strips on the cookie boxes (which, frankly, I can
never open without tearing the box top to shreds, but that's an
engineering problem, not mine, no way!).

I hope that newbies will learn a lesson from this. Never share opinions.
Never correct anyones speling. And never, never, take any essay with the
word _modest_ in the title seriously.

Can I get my 2 cents back?


Technical Writer
Computer columnist for _Ohio Valley Computing_
Co-Author of the IDG book _Internet Gizmos for Windows_
I would say it was hogwash if I knew exactly what hogwash was.
-- AM Rosenthal

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