Evolving language, evolving profession

Subject: Evolving language, evolving profession
From: Michael Andrew Uhl <mikeuhl -at- MINDSPRING -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 19:23:11 -0400

Esteemed Colleagues:

It is with amusement that I follow the "proactive" discusssion. Please
take a look at the article titled "So I'm Like, 'Who Needs This Grammar
Stuff?' on page 15 of the October 20, 1997 issue of NEWSWEEK magazine.

I've long since given up fighting battles over cliches, coined words,
and idiotic usage. It's pointless; we're overrun with semi-literates and
people who care little about formalism in language. That's OK by by me,
now. I've got no time for it anyway. Now I spend all of my time dealing
with changing technologies and the people who don't understand (1) them
or (2) what I do for a living. Indeed, the title "technical writer" is
obsolete, at least for me and most of my colleagues. We are "technical
communicators" in a broad and rapidly changing way.

For those of you who waste time fighting battles over this term or that,
stop now or find yourself way behind the learning curve. Furthermore,
overtly acting as a defender of a mythological static language damages
our profession's burgeoning reputation as "can do" people, professionals
who rapidly adapt. Our beloved language, English, changes ever more
quickly.* So must we.


Michael Andrew Uhl (mailto:mikeuhl -at- mindspring -dot- com)
President, Carolina Chapter, STC (1997-1998)
Ph. 919.541.4283 (W); Fax: 919.541.0056

*I apologize to the non-native English speakers on the list. I am
addressing English speakers here. I do, however, find it amusing that
the French try so hard to protect their language from foreign
contamination. How futile!

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