re Pros and Cons of including writer's name

Subject: re Pros and Cons of including writer's name
From: Lisa Higgins <lisarea -at- LUCENT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 12:20:00 +0000

> I was an editor/supervisor of technical writers at
> now-defunct Daisy Systems. The writer's name was on
> each book, and I was unhappy because giving credit to
> a single writer was seldom accurate. All the writers
> helped one another, often a book prepared one year by
> one writer would be revised the next year by another,
> and of course I as editor was responsible, without
> credit, for making them all look better than they
> really were. ;)
> The crediting of books was stopped by our legal
> department for an entirely different reason: The
> lawyers were worried about what happens when a writer
> leaves. The writer might on the one hand demand no
> longer to be associated with the company's product,
> or might on the other hand object to the work being
> associated with someone else. Easier just not to name
> names.

I've been waiting for someone else to bring this up, but maybe I'm
really the only one.

I wouldn't want my name associated with about 70 to 80% of the stuff
I've written.

I'm not complaining, really. It's my job to write and produce what my
company or my client wants. And they almost always want some pretty
stupid things. Maybe the design is cumbersome. Maybe the manual has a
"Conventions Used in this Guide" section (Good grief!!!), maybe some
illiterate CEO made me include something about software that makes
"extensive use of the function use native to modern computing" or is
"a cornucopia of functional richness," or maybe there's just a bunch
of extra stuff in there that shouldn't be there.

I'm not deeply ashamed of too many things I've done, but I'm still
not interested in taking complete credit or blame for someone else's
style guide, template, illustration, or document requirements.


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