Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
From: Andrew Plato <aplato -at- EASYSTREET -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 11:44:42 -0700

Sheesh... I should know better.

I am amazed at how many of you drifted this discussion off topic as quickly
as possible. I think that says something right there.

Let me be frank:

This was not intended to be a discussion about technical writing education.
This was not intended to be a discussion about political correctness.
This was not really intended to be a discussion about the definition of a
tech writer.

If you want to continue those topics, take them to another thread please.

The question was: when faced with someone who has misrepresented themselves
as a technical person, what do you do? How do you handle a person who
clearly cannot deal with the technology yet are supposed to write about that
technology? Do you help them? Fire them? Stick them in an editors
position? What is the answer to solving the problem of non-technical,
technical writers?

There have been countless discussions on this group about the "definition of
a technical writer". In my opinion, the definition of a technical writer is
wholly summarized in the job title "technical writer": a person who is
technical and writes documents. Period, end of discussion. Add all the
bulls--t you want to your skill set, if your not technical or you don't
write, you're not a technical writer.

Moreover, there have been countless discussion about education in this
group. That is really not the issue here. Regardless of how people learned
what they learned, what do you do with them if they fail to live up to your

Sorry, but this group has a nasty tendency to use any hot issue to blather
about their personal pet peeves, completely ignoring the topic of the

Andrew Plato
Owner/Principal Consultant
Anitian Technology Services

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