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: Certification (long) From:Tom T Kiersted/asf <Tom_T_Kiersted/asf -at- ASF-NOTES -dot- FOUNDRY -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 28 Dec 1995 12:41:35 EDT
>>And if spelling is so important, how come John Bell and I *both*
>>misspelled grammar in our posts about certification?????
>Grammar is important simply because not all Technical Writers have an editor
>(or an editor substitute) to follow behind them. This is my current
>situation. Unless I do a decent job of editing my own work (and that's
>difficult, I love every letter of it) then my work is going to be published
>that way. I would prefer my work to be as perfect as I can get it when it
>goes to print. Therefore, love it or not, I really work at it.
I don't think anyone is saying that grammar and spelling are not important. It
is a matter of how we weight them, or if setting an absolute standard is
I tend to think most companies, if they had to choose one or the other, would
rather have someone with great critical analysis skills and abstract reasoning
ability who needs to use a dictionary once in a while than someone with
faultless spelling who can't think his way out of a wet paper bag.
Of course most would doubtless rather not choose and get someone with both...
Anyway, maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe spelling is more important. But
why do we need a set of certification standards? Without a standardized test,
won't the marketplace sort it out?
I'm not a big supporter of standarized tests (though I've always done well on
them). As the truism runs, "Tests test best testees' test-taking and testers'
test-making." I say let companies hire and promote those with the skills sets
best suited to them and the heck with certification.