Re: (no subject heading)

Subject: Re: (no subject heading)
From: Mike Bygrave <bygravem -at- INTUITIVE -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 1996 14:41:05 +-100

I'm with Sherri on this one - what exactly are we supposed to talk about on this list?

More and more often it seems as if, as soon as someone starts to talk about use of language (which is, after all, the main tool of our trade, over and above FrameMaker or Word) a couple of cries come in demanding that we stop discussing the matter at hand immediately. More bizarrely, these cries are normally justified on the grounds that "this is a list for TECHNICAL WRITERS". We're then asked (always politely) to keep quiet unless we are discussing matters which are relevant to the list.

I know that there are lists available for people who want to discuss the nuances of language all day every day, but surely the whole point of this list is to discuss matters of interest to technical authors. I can't comment authoritavely on what every other subscriber to this list does during their days, but while I'm doing my job and writing documentation, the use of correct and clear English appears quite high on my list of priorities. Therefore, what justification is there for trying to suppress this kind of thread?

Personally, I hope that Sherri doesn't remove herself from the list, because (IMHO) that would be our loss. Perhaps we should try to avoid turning subscribers away by coming down on them when they happen to talk about issues which, I'm sure, many of us are interested in.

Incidentally, for all of you who are trying to stamp out messages which you don't consider to be relevant, consider for a moment the reaction of non-American list members to all of the USA-specific messages that appear here (job enquiries, salary discussions etc.) Do you hear us all complaining that such topics are of no relevance to all Technical Authors and demanding that they be suppressed? Hmmm, perhaps not, because we (like most other subscribers) are in a position to exercise our delete keys.

Sherri L. Nichols wrote:
>Please remove my name from this list. I don't have time for this.
>I responded at some length to a question about the use of "since" versus
>"because" and "which" versus "that".

>Sanford Carr's response was:
>>>>TECHNICAL writing. Not grammar, not software, not ...

>And I said:
>>>>Yes, of course, Sanford. Good grammar and a solid knowledge of accepted
>>>usage has nothing to do with good writing, I forgot.

>...after which Eric J.Ray pointed out:
>>>I think his point was TECHNICAL writing.
>>My previous comments about appropriate topics still stand.
>>I'll be happy to send you a copy of the what to
>>post/what not to post message if you'd like.

Mike Bygrave (bygravem -at- intuitive -dot- co -dot- uk)
Intuitive Systems Ltd (
1966 was a great year for English football...
Cantona was born

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