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Subject:Re: Typoz in Resumes From:Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 25 Feb 1997 08:36:26 PST
Carolyn Haley writes:
>Are not spelling, grammar, and punctuation
>the _base skills_ of the writing/editing trade, required of everyone making
>a living in that trade?
In fact, they aren't. COMPOSITION is the basic skill of writing. Of the
three things you list, only grammar is essential to composition. The
rest are optional. For example, one can create a book through dictation,
leaving punctuation and spelling to the stenographer. This method
works perfectly well, and many authors (Winston Churchill, for example)
wrote many books through dictation, with only a single pass of revision
of the resulting typescript.
While one has to use more or less correct grammar almost all the time
for effective composition, this is not the same thing as saying that
one bad construction spoils the rest of the barrel.
The real problem is that it's much harder to find writers who can compose
the necessary draft than it is to find people to fuss over the draft once
it's composed. This leads to a division of labor, in which those who
are willing to compose do composition, while those who are willing to
fuss do copy-editing. This is also why copy-editors are paid less than
By insisting on writers who not only compose, but compose flawlessly, you
should realize that your are putting drastic limits on your talent pool
in order to avoid the simple management procedure of having every writer's
work copy-edited by a good copy-editor.
Robert Plamondon, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139 http://www.pioneer.net/~robertp