Re: Creativity in Technical Communication

Subject: Re: Creativity in Technical Communication
From: Graham Dowden <dowdeng -at- NMS -dot- OTC -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 10:16:27 +1100

Rachael Schumacher asks:
> Is there a place in technical writing for creativity, and if so what
> are the limitations?

I try and keep my writing appropriate to the audience. It is normally
serious and exact, but includes humour when this does not interfere with
the instruction and may provide interest or light relief in an otherwise
dry subject. My aim in including humour is also to encourage continued
use of documentation.

Some extracts of examples from my recent work in telecommunications with
explanations in [] below.

* Mux Ado About Nothing
A Shakespearean fragment explaining the different type of multiplexor.

Are there then muxes wise and simple?

Truly, sir, truly, aye and marry, muxes both smart and dumb.

Sir Timeplex
Such as we, good knave, who split the stream as London Bridge doth
split the Thames at White Hall into eight parts, and doth again conjoin,
so that none may see the break.

And I sir, who by skilful modulation of my tone may carry many gentle
conversations and yet keep separate every word.

[Tedium=Time Division Multiplexing (TDM), Timeplex a brand of TDM mux,
Frequenza=Frequency Division Multiplexing]

* The Story of SDH
A tale about Mr Albert Plesio and how his railway
which carried 2 "Meg" blocks ultimately became over-congested and
was supplanted by Mr Dimitri Synchronou's smart 155 Meg trucks.

[Plesiochronous (2Mbit/s based) and synchronous (155Mbit/s) digital

* The Cleo Guide To Love, Alarms and Switches
Some heading loosely based on our exchange monitoring system.

Closing Your Dry Contacts
The switch is all ready to go, but can the PLC detect it? We show you
how to make that vital contact.

Our Special CCS7 Sealed Section
Uncover the seven secrets of common channel signalling, and make your
switch life so much more exciting!

It's a Valid Alarm, But Is It Your Type?
Some alarms seem to be valid, but can you be sure they're the right
type? We show you how to validate alarms.

[switch=telephone exchange, PLC detects alarm by closure of contact,
CCS7 = inter-switch signalling protocol]

Graham Dowden,
dowdeng -at- nms -dot- otc -dot- com -dot- au
Telstra Corporation, Sydney Australia

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