Re: Mired in minutiae? I just don't think so. (was "proactive")

Subject: Re: Mired in minutiae? I just don't think so. (was "proactive")
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 11:50:34 -0500

Ron wrote:

---rant mode on---

Dear Grammarians:


I am disappointed to hear you say this. You, as an STC president,
should be expected you to defend the writer's role in technical
documentation, and not to ally yourself with the whiz-bangs and
long-winded project managers.

That depends on how you define our role. However, addressing your reply
to Grammarians rather than to Technical Writers (or Communicators)
answers part of the question. I believe that our role is explain to our
audience how to do A using B. At least, that's what I was hired to do.
We supply tools to aid in using a product or service, not works of art
to be admired on their own. If after reading my document the user can
now do A using B, my role has been fulfilled. I can't speak for Mr.
Uhl, but I don't picture myself as a defender of the language. I'm not
an artist, I'm a technologist. My role is to communicate technical
information, not to defend the status quo of the language.

MY $.02:
If you want to be a propeller head, then be one. Become a network
administrator, programmer, or project manager. Leave technical
writing to the rest of us who care about employing good usage and

Black or white. Left or right. Technical or writer. I don't buy into
this. Can't a writer develop technical skills without betraying the
writing profession? Does 'dealing with changing technologies' mean
abandoning usage and style? However, when content is sacrificed just to
defend the status quo of the language and to fit perfectly with usage
and style, the path from A to B may now contain too many curves. I say
to you who picture yourself the artist, "If you want to be an artist,
then be one. Become a poet, a professor, or a novelist. Leave technical
writing to the rest of us who care first about communicating the correct
information and then about dressing it up."

Good writers are employable because their values ARE left "way
behind." Or maybe you're so far ahead us that we can't possibly
grasp what your saying.

And good TECHNICAL Writers are employable because they are
multi-skilled, adaptable, and maybe even (gasp) proactive in their work

---rant mode off---

Next time, please don't be so condescending.

Et tu Ron?

Ron is-"proactive"-really-a-word Rhodes
ron_d_rhodes -at- mail -dot- bankone -dot- com

Mike "I-don't-really-care-if-proactive-is-a-word" Wing

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