Re: How can I be a technical writer?

Subject: Re: How can I be a technical writer?
From: Dick Gaskill <dickg -at- AG3D -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 15:59:54 -0700

Ah, this thread is a joke, right? Seems to me that the writer of the
original message knows more than he's telling. Non technical would not
likely know the words Dynamic Linked Library.

Now if you REALLY want to know how to be a technical writer, here's one
of the handouts I received in a tech writing class about 20 or so years
ago. Enjoy.

-dg


THE 60 SECOND
(INSTANT) TECHNICAL WRITER'S COURSE
Plagiarized by Dick Gaskill, for the enjoyment of all writers and those
who want to be.


So you want to be a writer.

You want to write things.

Good for you!

These are letters we use to make words:
A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-

N-0-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

We even have numbers we can write. These are: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0.

Say these letters and numbers over and over until you know them by
heart. Print them over and over again, fifty times.

Now you are ready to make words.

Write the following words twenty times: cheese - rat - some - stole - A

Wasn't that easy?

Now you are ready to write a sentence. Write: "A rat stole some
cheese."

Good!

Now translate the sentence into Federal-ese, as follows:

A rodent, without first consulting cognizant authorities, or utilizing
procedures generated to expedite the logistics flow of prepared
foodstuffs, obtained an indeterminate amount of solidified Jersey
by-product, Federal Specification MIL-FSC-1890A, in a manner considered
to be illegal by this facility.

This is how we write : "A rat stole some cheese" in Federal-ese.

We have a reason, too. If you simply wrote, "A rat stole some cheese"
on a piece of paper and gave it to an associate, he'd laugh his *** off.
If you write the way we do, though, he and all your co-workers and
supervisors will surely think you are endowed with superior intelligence
and marvelous skill. *

Now you are a writer.

Doesn't it feel good?


----------
From: Roger Mallett [SMTP:roger -at- CSICAL -dot- COM]
Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 1998 2:55 PM
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Subject: Re: How can I be a technical writer?

Ahha, I see that Hookt on Fonix rilly workt for you.


>----------
>From: Tracey Moore[SMTP:traceym -at- APPLIEDMAPPING -dot- COM]
>Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 1998 11:48 AM
>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>Subject: FW: How can I be a technical writer?
>
>
>Me too. I guess an English degree has nothing to do with
spelling and
>grammar either.
>
>I really desire to jump on the publick phycisists too!
>
>
>----------
>From: Anderson, Ben
>Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 1998 10:58 AM
>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>Subject: FW: How can I be a technical writer?
>
>Gee, I miss him already...
>
>>----------
>>From: Randal Brown[SMTP:contract5 -at- ARCTICMAIL -dot- COM]
>>Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 1998 9:43 AM
>>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>>Subject: How can I be a technical writer?
>>
>>Want-to-beees:
>>
>>How can I be a technical writer? I have no knowledge base. I
have my
>>English degree but I don't really know a thing about anything
technical. I
>>couldn't tell you the diff between a Dynamic Link Library and
the Publick
>>Library. I am just like a lot of you out there in that
respect. With
>>low-pay service work staring at me, I really desire to jump on
the tech
>>write
>>bandwagon.
>>
>>I think that this concept of becoming a technical writer
without a knowledge
>>base is an invention of the 90s and a very tight job market
for "decent"
>>jobs. Just look at some of the ads for technical writers in
some of the old
>>technical pubs from the 50s. You will find that most ask for
engineers and
>>phycisists who can write, NOT writers who want to pretend that
they know
>>something technical.
>>
>>This deception makes me sick to my stomach. I'm out of here,
and on to what
>>I hope will be a more honest form of earning a living. Will
the owner of
>>this list please do whatever is necessary to cancel my
account. I
>>don't know
>>how!
>>
>>Randal
>>

&^~~~
>>Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
TECHWR-L)
>>Search archives at:
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/archives.htm
>>Find rules and info at
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/listinfo.htm
>>Send all list-related questions or problems to
>>
>>
>>
>

^
>~~~
>Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
TECHWR-L)
>Search archives at:
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/archives.htm
>Find rules and info at
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/listinfo.htm
>Send all list-related questions or problems to
>

^
>~~~
>Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
TECHWR-L)
>Search archives at:
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/archives.htm
>Find rules and info at
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/listinfo.htm
>Send all list-related questions or problems to
>
>
>


~~~
Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
TECHWR-L)
Search archives at:
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/archives.htm
Find rules and info at
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/listinfo.htm




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