Re: New slant: professionalism

Subject: Re: New slant: professionalism
From: Damien Braniff <Damien_Braniff -at- PAC -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 09:09:17 +0100

Re MIL Standards. I too have spent several (!) years writing for the
military (in the UK) and while some of the spec were indeed quite stringent
there were others you could drive a bus through - sideways! This was
mainly down to how the spec could be interpreted. In the end what we did
was, for each job, produced a "model chapter" basd on the spec and got that
approved. In effect we specified the interpretation of the spec so that
any ambiguity was removed.

A lot of the "bad writing" comes, in part, due to documentation HAVING to
be provided as part of the contract and, as long as it was there, it
didn't matter wod did it or what it looked like. Thankfully that is
(has??) changing in most places. Recently, however, I did a brief survey of
local companies about what they thought of documentation - what they used,
who wrote it, how important it was (1=V important, 9=had to have some). On
the whole the replies rated the importance in the region 1-3 but there were
still a couple of 9s in there.

Damien Braniff
Technical Author
PAC International




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