Eric - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down

Subject: Eric - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down
From: "Dennis Hays/The Burden Lake Group, Ltd." <dlhays -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 9 Feb 1996 15:44:53 -0500

It's an interesting comment Eric wrote on the State of the List. (For those
of you unfortunate to live outside the border's of the US--The President of
the US delivers a speech each January on the State of the Union -- oh, don't
flame, I'm only poking everyone in the ribs about living in the US).

Although I get somewhat weary when I see a discussion about commas go on for
six months or so, that's my opinion. I have over twenty years invested in
plying my writing trade and am just now submitting fiction to the outside
world for publication. There are some great fiction writers out there who
can put words together better than I feel I can; and there are, I hope, some
who don't. I choose to read or not to read some author's novels, based upon
my personal set of criteria (more than one criterion). And, likewise, I
choose to read or not to read certain topics on this list (all except Guy's
writings <g>). Again, my choice.

I was fortunate to have a writing mentor. This person slashed my work with
his red pen until the paper could no longer hold the ink. I felt terrible,
but persisted. Slowly, I got better--mechanically. The structure I learned
even slower. But I learned. Learned from everyone by reading everything.
This list would have shortened the process.

In my career I've worked with quite a few writers--some who shouldn't have
used the term writer in the same breath as their name. And I imagine all of
us may have had similar experiences. Some of these people learned and some
had such a hard head, nothing penetrated.

A while ago there was a long discussion regarding certification. Isn't the
intent of certification to create a pool for "qualified" tech writers; and
aren't tech writers supposed to be qualified as to structure, typography,
spelling, grammar, management, layout, (help me, I'm getting tired wearing
so many hats) and design? Our jobs are more than the sum of the parts. We
also bring along those of our own to make the profession better. And if they
think they need help with grammar, syntax, spelling, or anything else, we
should welcome their input. The language is fluid and so should we be (so
should we be? Whew, I'm really a better writer than that!).

The bottom line is this list has something for everyone. It's a good place
to discuss your problems at less than US$100/hour for a shrink, learn new
skills, trade war stories, find about the latest technical achievements to
make our jobs easier, a place for the new writer to "get a leg up", and
____________(fill in the blank). In short, there's more than enough room for
everyone (even if I don't like what you have to say). All you gotta do is
<Click> the trash can, the delete button, Select Edit; then, Cut (or
whatever!). That's the beauty of the system, you don't have to read this
if'n ya donna wan to. If you want to create a thread about "The Efficacy of
Permeable Typefaces as they Portend Future Anomalies", go right ahead; and
if you want to write about whether a period (full stop to the others
offshore) should be 12 point or 11.9, so be it.

I like taking some time to be a part of this community and like any
community, it's full of different characters. We should welcome everyone
(except Guy, of course).

Not So Humbly, This Time

Dennis (to all my friends here) Hays
dlhays -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com
"Write with fire, cut with ice."

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