Re: 'author' vs. 'write'

Subject: Re: 'author' vs. 'write'
From: "L. Burnham O'Donald" <lodonald -at- PRIMENET -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 17:23:31 -0400

Jim Purcell wrote:
> >
> If "to author" is no more than a slightly more general synonym for "to
> write," its only purpose is decorative.
If you start seeing
> a lot of resumes that say things like "Authored corporate Web site" or
> "Authored CBT for fork lift operators," you can conclude that this more
> modern sense of "to author" has arrived.

Jim makes some good points.

I'm confused, though (and this isn't aimed at Jim but at anyone who'd
prefer to use "author" in this context): why "author" for the Web site
or CBT? Why not "create" or "develop"? (I feel like I'm on the
copyediting-l here!). But seriously, these are good, solid, established
words with no confusion.

My own sneaking suspicion is that "author" is one of those words that
someone thinks sounds better and more distinguished than "write". If I
heard someone say they "authored" a Web site I would personally think
they meant they wrote the material that's on it and not that they
necessarily did the ancillary work of getting the Web site up and
running. Same for the CBT.


Louise O'Donald
lodonald -at- primenet -dot- com

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
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Re: Is temping a good way to start?
Next by Author: Re: product name noun vs adjective
Previous by Thread: Re: 'author' vs. 'write'
Next by Thread: Re: 'author' vs. 'write'

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads