Re: Engineers and Writers

Subject: Re: Engineers and Writers
From: The Ashrafs <ashrafs -at- JUNO -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 12:27:58 EST

On Fri, 14 Mar 1997 10:46:57 +0100 "M. Dannenberg" <midannen -at- si -dot- bosch -dot- de>

>Michael Wing wrote:

>> Writing for us is functional, not artistic. The artistic side to
>> writing may be more suitable for other fields of writing.
>I don't think you can separate the two. There are plenty of rule-book
>toting dillettantes around who think they can write. Good writing,
>technical or otherwise, always has an artistic side to it.

Gotta chime in here in support of Mike D:

Technical writing is sometimes described as Communication in Context. Or
a subset thereof. Trying to write a novel describing the culture of the
Ibo's of south-eastern Nigeria so that Americans would understand and
enjoy requires a lot of cultural translation -- and knowing when not to
translate but draw the reader [user] into the subject matter and
understand it. Everyone has a `chi', a personal god that takes care of
you. And then there are gods for natural phenomena. And above it all is
Chineke. Who, just happens to be not very different The Father, Zeus,
Eeshwar, Allah, The Creator, or even Nature with an upper-case `N' as
Wordsworth et al spelt it. Now switch to trying to teach a neophyte that
from the point of view of Unix system, everything is a file: when you
want to display something on the screen you write to a tty file; when you
want to print, you write to a prn file ...G'whm'sayin'?


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