TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: content vs. style From:cjs10 -at- CORNELL -dot- EDU Date:Mon, 3 Mar 1997 09:01:04 -0500
An apple a day keeps the doctor away?
How right you are, Thom, to point out (though you didn't put it this way)
that style IS content, to some degree. What you see is all you get.
On Mon, 3 Mar 1997, Thom Remington wrote:
> A recent post argued that technical content must take precendence over
> style. After all, we're technical writers, not poets. Well.....
> I agree, but I think that you have to be very careful. Any time that writing
> style gets in the way, it becomes a problem. When you have to read a
> sentence twice (or more!) to understand it, you lose focus. When the writing
> style is hard to get through, the reader is likely to start to focus on the
> writing, not on the content.
> As an example, I submit the following. I'll confess that I wrote it, but my
> intent was to write an example of the language "bureacratese."
> The diurnal introduction into the alimentary system of a single example of
> any of a variety of species of pomes has been determined to have an
> ameliorative effect for the dread felt by iatrophobes, by rendering the
> necessity of the presence of the object of such iatrophobia that much less
> Translation available on request.
> thomas -dot- f -dot- remington -at- usa -dot- dupont -dot- com
> Speaking for myself.
> TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
> to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
> to LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU (e.g. HELP or SIGNOFF TECHWR-L).
> Search the archives at http://www.documentation.com/ or search and
> browse the archives at http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html