Re: I am Tech Writer

Subject: Re: I am Tech Writer
From: "Wayne J. Douglass" <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 09:35:17 -0800

At 10:46 AM 2/7/97 -0500, Pete Kloppenburg wrote:

>I believe that that strategy is only effective in certain instances
>(for example, the movement from "fireman" to the more gender
>neutral "firefighter" ) but that "technical writer" to "technical
>communicator" is not one of them. Not only does it sound dumb,
>but it breaks all sorts of aesthetic and rhetorical rules. Who, for
>God's sake, isn't a communicator? Why go from the nice, familiar,
>anglo-saxon concrete word "writer" to the obnoxious, latinate,
>abstract term "communicator"?

Amusing as diatribe, but the logic of how anglo-saxon = concrete = nice
versus latinate = abstract = obnoxious escapes me. Are Latinate words less
concrete per se?

>Now, just to stir the pot a little more, if I were forced at gunpoint
>to renounce the title "writer", I would have to pick the term
>"documentation developer". At least in the software industry, it
>describes very well what we do.
>
I don't know, Pete, "documentation developer" sounds a little latinate to
me. No wonder you need to be forced a gunpoint to accept it. Under those
conditions, would you also accept "technical communicator?" Or would you
rather die on your feet than live on your knees?

--Wayne Douglass

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