Re: New slant: professionalism (long)

Subject: Re: New slant: professionalism (long)
From: "Metzger, Lucinda" <cmetzger -at- DUKANE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 15:04:55 -0500

Elna said:

>> There are a lot of people who call themselves technical writers who have
>> taken the easy way out, and believe that the only proper way to do
>> technical writing is to have SME's do it first, then they edit and
>> format. That's not the way I operate, and it's not how my company
>> operates. However, in almost every new contract situation I'm up against

Others have taken exception to this and argued that there are legitimate
reasons to edit and format existing text from SMEs.

People aren't reading Elna's comments carefully enough -- particularly
this part: "and believe that the ONLY PROPER WAY [caps mine] to do
technical writing is to have SME's do it first". I think the writers
meant by this comment aren't the writers who do edit and format existing
material from SME's in the course of their daily jobs, it's the writers
who don't know how to write material from scratch, and/or refuse to
write from scratch when needed. We used to have someone like that here
-- no, actually, he was worse because he wouldn't even edit! He just
took stuff from the engineers and formatted it verbatim, typos and all.
He quit shortly before I started working here, and it took a couple
>years to gradually clean up all of the docs he worked on.

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