Re: Let us test

Subject: Re: Let us test
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 11:58:14 PDT

Beating this horse to death:
Sorry -- should have specified grocery store in the first
line and indicated that if there isn't a produce department,
the reader should find a store with a produce section.

That quibble aside, Wolf explained that it was a test for
a technical writer, therefore he should have specified
no pictures.

In a test for a technical COMMUNICATOR, the applicant
should be able to apply the tools to the need. I was completely
stumped as far as what I would write to differentiate
between lettuce and cabbage, but it isn't an application
in which you should describe the difference -- you must
just show the difference. (Actually the ideal situation
would be to give the applicant a sample of a head of
lettuce and tell the applicant to buy another
just like it. ;-)

Granting freely that many companies don't have the
budget to print in color, the graphical/photographic
solution to a communication problem is often overlooked.
I know I couldn't effectively write about the differences
between cabbage and head lettuce
in under three pages, but it isn't a problem to be
solved by writing.

I wonder how often we respond to an illustration
problem with pages of words, simply because words
are the communication tool we're accustomed to


Eric J. Ray ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com
TECHWR-L Listowner

--- On Fri, 6 Sep 1996 09:50:58 -0700 Wolf Lahti <wduby -at- PACCAR -dot- COM> wrote:

>> Write the instructions for sending someone to the grocery store to
>> buy a head of iceberg lettuce, with particular emphasis on assuring
>Eric J. Ray countered
>>1. Go to the store.
>>2. Go to produce department.
>>3. Buy lettuce, as depicted in Figure 1.
>>Note: If the item you selected more closely
>> resembles Figure 2 than Figure 1,
>> you probably selected cabbage instead
>> of lettuce.

>I went to the store. the closest thing I found to Figure 1 is what the clerk
>called a "bowling ball". For the life of me, I can't say that it looks any
>more or less like Figure 1 than Figure 2. They come in many different
>colors--should I have gotten a black one instead of this sort of pebbly green?

>I tried another store, and the clerk told me what I had was a "light-fixture
>globe". They didn't have any green ones.

>Besides, this ia a test of a tech writer, not an illustrator. Maybe I should
>have stipulated "no pictures". This is a low-budget test, after all. :)

Eric J. Ray ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com
TECHWR-L Listowner

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