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Subject:Re: Writers first From:Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM> Date:Sat, 5 Oct 1996 16:37:27 PDT
>Excellent points, Mike. I've participated on more than one list catering to
>technical writers, and I've often noticed with dismay that many of our own
>profession view themselves as techies who happen to write rather than
>writers who document technical concepts. This may be due to the old
>practice of hiring technical professionals and asking them to write, which,
>thankfully, is giving way to the practice of hiring writers who happen to be
>adept with technology.
Oh, I don't know. There's plenty of room for all kinds. Using people
with impressive technical backgrounds to write documentation is sometimes
the only way to get the really obscure and bizarre products documented
> It's much easier for a writer to learn technical
> concepts than for an engineer to produce lucid, organized prose.
I don't believe this for a second. What I *do* believe is that writing
lucid, organized prose requires the desire to improve and a great deal
of practice. Few engineers score even 50% on those requirements. But
engineers are at least as trainable as, say, bears. A few zaps of the
old cattle prod for screwing up, a few treats for shambling through the
dance more or less correctly, and we'd turn them into ballerinas in
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139