Re: Style Guide Survey

Subject: Re: Style Guide Survey
From: Betty Keddy <bkeddy -at- MC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 11:28:02 -0400

Nea,

I've been a tech writer for ten years, and "The Chicago Manual of Style" has been one of my guides throughout those years. I've recently joined a technical communications group in a new company, and all of us in the group follow that guide. Also, we use Strunk & White's "Elements of Style" and "The American Heritage Dictionary." We also follow industry standards such as ANSI C, POSIX, IEEE, etc.

One thing I've found to be true over the years is that each new job requires learning new technology and new tools. The reference books that I use most frequently are those necessary to learn something new. In my current job I'm learning UNIX, FrameMaker, and the Macintosh computer. The following books are very helpful:

-- UNIX in a Nutshell (Daniel Gilly and O'Reilly & Associates)
-- Using FrameMaker (Frame Technology)
-- The Little MacBook (Robin Williams)

Some text books that I continue to use as references are the following:

-- Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach (Roger Pressman)
-- The C Programming Language (Kernighan & Ritchie)
-- Programming in ANSI C (Stephen Kochan)
-- Form and Substance: An Advanced Rhetoric (Richard Coe)

Non-writing jobs I've done over the years are the following:

-- Helped develop a company's Intranet and served as Webmaster
-- Project lead a cross-functional team to develop that Intranet
-- Did lots of HTML coding
-- Served on various company committees
-- Mentored and trained other writers
-- Desktop publishing when I was the only writer in a software group
-- Magazine librarian for the software development group

Good luck with your survey. I hope you will publish the results.

Regards,
Betty Keddy
Senior Technical Writer

Nea Dodson wrote:

>Hello folks, I'm Nea Dodson. I'm working on a style manual for work and a
>tech writer's handbook in my spare time. I'd really like to have the input
>of the collective wisdom/experience of the folks on this list for both
>projects. So, if anyone out there would like to answer a few questions:
>
>1) What professional style guides do you use (such as Chicago/Turabian, MS
>Manual, GPO, APA, etc.)?
>
>2) Do you have a favorite dictionary? If so, which and why?
>
>3) What reference books do you consider absolutely essential?
>
>and 4) what non-writing jobs have you been asked to do as part of your job
>(such as desktop publishing, teaching, web page coding, etc.)?
>
>Thanks in advance,
>
>Nea
>
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