Intractable SME's

Subject: Intractable SME's
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 1996 17:23:51 -0600

I like the general tone of the answers so far ("talk to the
intractable SME and see if he can see your viewpoint"),
particularly since the best way to get around such problems
is to gain enough credibility that the expert stops arguing
and starts trusting you. Is it possible that this guy just
wants to know how to do things right, so he doesn't have to
redo them? (From context, this lacks the ring of truth: the
arguments that occur _after_ you explain things make him
sound a bit "I know better than you do". On the other hand,
perhaps it's his boss that's the problem and the new guy is
just passing along the message? Might be worth snooping
around to find out.)

The best solution to someone who thinks they know better is
to ask him to send you a photocopy of some authority
(e.g., Chicago Manual of Style) that supports his view.
(aka the "put up or shut up" style of confrontation) Heck,
he may even be right now and then! The solution of last
resort? Tell him "sorry, even if I agreed with you, the
corporate style guide says otherwise". You do have a style
guide, don't you? <grin>

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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