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Subject:Re: Soapbox Time From:Beth Agnew <bagnew -at- INSYSTEMS -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 19 Oct 1998 16:28:26 -0400
Bob Maxey wrote in response to Eric's message:
Eric: >>Seeking desperately to steer this thread back to appropriate
ground for this list...
Bob: >Are you saying that an ever increasing number of poorly educated
not a suitable topic for the list? I disagree, respectfully. I see it as a
big problem and it needs to be thought about and looked at by anyone who
needs to communicate with others.
I think Bob is right in that it's a problem. Perhaps I can placate Eric by
postulating that it is a technical communication problem when less-skilled
readers cannot get the information they need. It doesn't only affect the
poorly educated. Techwriters are more in demand and needed more nowadays
because we are the ones who distill information into the "sound bytes"
required by today's fast-paced society. Despite Oprah's best efforts, most
people are reading less substantial material but having to deal with a whole
lot more of it.
Short sentences, fewer steps, less thought required to get the point of the
communication, and information pared down to just what is needed at the
moment -- that's what people are choosing over deeper narrative or
conceptual information. Eric rightly points out that it's a knowledge issue,
not an intelligence one. Our audiences are trying to turn information into
knowledge as fast as they can. They don't have time to decipher writing any
more. That's why they depend on us.
Senior Technical Writer, InSystems Technologies Inc.
65 Allstate Parkway, Suite 100 Tel: (905) 513-1400 ext. 280
Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 9X1 Fax: (905) 513-1419 mailto:bagnew -at- insystems -dot- com Visit us at: http://www.insystems.com