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-> He quotes two questions, but only addresses the second, which, in my
-> opinion, is the less important of the two. I agree with the original
-> writer in wondering why people think that *anyone* can write. Granted,
I suppose for the same reasons "anyone" can do desktop publishing, or
book design. I doubt the "wannabe" practitioners of either artform know
or care whether they do a good job, since "anyone" can do it.
Hey, if owning a copy of PageMaker is enough to qualify someone,
in their own mind, as a graphic designer, why shouldn't a copy of Word
qualify that same person to be a writer, or a spreadsheet program
qualify one as an accountant?
I don't think techwriters are in a good tactical position to complain
about people from the print shop applying for techwriter positions,
especially after some of the notions my colleagues have put forward on
this very list, about "rules" for "type" "design".
I have seen the results of this "anyone can design books, even
techwriters" assumption: manuals for high-dollar products that look
more like crank tracts self-published by conspiracy-minded religious
fanatics and UFO enthusiasts than like professional publications.
I *did* come from the print shop, for an academic press, no less, after
the very elementary realization that I already *was* a better writer
than the people whose life's work I typeset.
Gwen gwen -dot- barnes -at- mustang -dot- com
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