Re: Technical Writing Books

Subject: Re: Technical Writing Books
From: Steven Jong <SteveFJong -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 10:40:53 -0400

Richard Yanowitz <ryanowit -at- NYCT -dot- NET> wrote:

>> I don't know what's been said about this topic, but my own takes is: you
make your own rules--
>> whatever rules work, whatever reads best for your audience/context; trust
your own intuitions,
>> but seek and accept feedback when uncertain (well, accept feedback even
when you're certain).
>> "Authorities" (style guides, teachers, bosses, "industry standards") other
>> (cf. Sartre, who was really writing about tech writers when he said, "Hell
is other people...")
>> or created by people, useful while you're getting your bearings, and
thereafter still intermittently useful.

>> Once you embrace that, ignore it: it's full of holes.

This is a common position, which, if I'm reading it correctly, I could
paraphrase as 'Collective wisdom is not for me; I know better.'

While I have no objection to advancing the state of the art, I wonder: If
every writer (if every *worker*) in a group had this attitude, how large
would the group have to be before it became a problem?

I think the answer is two.

-- Steve

Steven Jong, Documentation Group Leader ("Typo? What tpyo?")
Lightbridge, Inc, 281 Winter St., Waltham, MA 02154 USA
<jong -at- lightbridge -dot- com>, 617.672.4902 [voice], 617.890.2681 [FAX]
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