Re: New slant: professionalism

Subject: Re: New slant: professionalism
From: Roger Mallett <roger -at- CSICAL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 08:42:33 -0700

Fun topic.

When asked what kind of work I do, I tell them: "I am a Technical
Writer, you know, the kind of guy that writes computer books, you've
seen them, the ones that no one can understand (usually eliciting a
chuckle), well I fix those broken books so that you can understand

This usually brings a sigh of relief followed by a war story or two
about how horrible computer/software manuals are and how it's about time
that someone got out there and fixed them.

Roger Mallett

>From: Parks, Beverly[SMTP:ParksB -at- EMH1 -dot- HQISEC -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL]
>Sent: Friday, April 24, 1998 8:18 AM
>Subject: Re: New slant: professionalism
>> From: Jane Bergen [SMTP:janeber -at- CYBERRAMP -dot- NET]
> <snip> How many people have you run
>> into who, when you tell them you're a technical writer, laugh about
>> "those computer manuals that no one can understand"? Those are the
>> legacy of early tech writers who wrote mil specs or who understood
>> the technology but failed as communicators. <snip>
> I'm responding to Jane's post, but my comments are not directed
>at Jane. The comment Jane made above I have heard over and over again
>for years. Frankly, I think it's getting old. Today, when you hear
>someone refer to "those computer manuals that no one can understand" it
>is extremely unlikely that they are referring to the mainframe manuals
>of yore. More likely, they are talking about manuals written within the
>last five or six years. I think it is a cop out to continue to blame
>writer's of old computer manuals for comments being made today.
>perhaps, the comment came from someone who hasn't looked at a computer
>manual for a dozen years.)
>Beverly Parks
>parksb -at- emh1 -dot- hqisec -dot- army -dot- mil =
>Visit the Friendly Faces of TECHWR-L:
>Find contractor info at

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