Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
From: Hope Cascio <hope -dot- d -dot- cascio -at- US -dot- ARTHURANDERSEN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 15:43:59 -0400

Andrew,

I don't think that we necessarily "drifted off subject," but that, because
we have different definitions of what a technical writer is or should be,
your attack of a "non-technical technical writer" is possibly unjustified.
Several of us have said we are not technical, in that we're not engineers,
nor should we be, but that our skills at synthesizing knowledge,
communicating effectively, and knowing what it is the user needs to know
(rather than what the engineer already knows) qualify us as technical
writers.

Your slam of the group, that we're a "group [that] has a nasty tendency to
use any hot issue to blather about their personal pet peeves, completely
ignoring the topic of the discussion" was inappropriate at best. We're a
highly diverse group, having only a profession in common. It's unrealistic
to expect to shout down the well of techwr-l and hear your own voice echoed
back at you.

Hope Cascio

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_________________________________________________________________

To: TECHWR-L @ LISTSERV.OKSTATE.EDU
cc: (bcc: Hope D. Cascio)
From: aplato -at- EASYSTREET -dot- COM
Date: 05/06/98 02:44 PM
Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
___________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________




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
expectations.
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
discussion.
........................................................
Andrew Plato
Owner/Principal Consultant
Anitian Technology Services
www.anitian.com




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