Re: Role of technical Writers

Subject: Re: Role of technical Writers
From: Barbara Miller <millercm -at- MILLER-COMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 1996 11:37:29 -0600

Arlen's response to Chris:

> Is it more important to uphold the integrity of the language in our
> communications or to do whatever it takes to most clearly communicate
> the facts? (I'm assuming there are times when it isn't possible to do

>The last point is where we might disagree, Chris. I think it's always
>possible to communicate clearly by using the language properly; in fact, I
>think it's usually *easier* than not using it properly.

The problem arises when the client isn't aware of the nuances of the
language and, frankly, doesn't care. Recently, a client changed "because"
back to "since" because it sounded more conversational even tho because was
the more correct word. I've also had disagreements with clients on the use
of a colon to introduce a list. According to Chicago, it is not needed if
the list could be read as a sentence with serial elements; e.g., I plan to
go to the

* store
* postoffice
* cleaners.

The client thought the document looked inconsistent when some lists used
colons and some didn't. (I compromised by introducing EVERY list thusly: "I
plan to do the following:"

>The purpose of language is communication. If it doesn't communicate
>properly, it isn't correct language.

Agreed, but sometimes we need to compromise to meet the audience's
expectations (or lack there of).

Barbara J. Miller
millercm -at- Miller-Comm -dot- com

TECHWR-L List Information
To send a message about technical communication to 2500+ list readers,
E-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send administrative commands
ALL other questions or problems concerning the list
should go to the listowner, Eric Ray, at ejray -at- ionet -dot- net -dot-

Previous by Author: Re: APPENDIX/APPENDIXES
Next by Author: Re: Help for a newbie?
Previous by Thread: Re: Role of technical Writers
Next by Thread: Re: Role of technical Writers

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads