Re: Technical editing

Subject: Re: Technical editing
From: Pam Owen <Nighthawk1 -at- MINDSPRING -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 22:46:31 -0500

As a technical editor and writer, I have to agree with everything Judith
said. However, I would like to add that, in this day and age, editors need
to know how to surf the Web for answers, especially for definitions of
technical terms. Do not rely on your "authors" (who may or may not be
writers and may or may not really understand the terms they use) to know
what a widget is or even if it is the correct term to use in a particular
context. I write or edit on all kinds of documentation, including
international economic reports, telecommunciations user manuals, books on
Y2K, proposals on environmental management, and logistics reports for the
Department of Defense. Here are some reference Web sites I've found useful
(among the many in my bookmark file):

Writing and Editing References Electric Editors -
Reference The Editorial Eye
< The User Friendly Manuals' Website
<>Technical The Mining Co. (writing and
editing) The Elements of Style Society for Technical Communication TECHWR-L (the home page for our own
beloved list)

Technical References Sandy Bay Software's PC Webopaedia TechWeb EE Times Online: Acronym
Glossary Netdictionary Heath's Computer & Telecommunications Acronym
Reference>Federal Standard 1037C: Glossary of
Telecommunications Terms Megaterms: Military
Terms and Acronyms DISA/JIEO Center
for Standards Glossary (telecommunications)

MS Office References WOPR (Woody Leonard's incomparable site for unraveling
the tangled web of MS Office)

Hard-copy references I use a lot include the following:

*The Writer's Internet Sourcebook" - a good guide to finding all kinds of
Web resources for writing and editing
*Wired Style: Princicples of English Usage in the Digital Age" - put out by
*Wired* magazine
*The Microsoft Manual of Style* - also a must, not because it's good, but
because, in trying not to confuse the reader, I make my documentation on
Windows-based software read as similarly to Microsoft's as I can without
violating my own personal editing rules
*Science and Technical Writing* by Philip Rubens
*Designing and Writing Online Documentation* by William Horton
*Technichal Editing* by Carolyn D. Rude

For dictionaries, I end up using the following regularly:

*The Random House Unabridged Dictionary*
*Routledge Dictionary of Economics*
*Newton's Telecom Dictionary*
*McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Science and Engineering*
*Que's Computer User's Dictionary* (although the online references are
better for keeping up to date on the the latest IT terms and their meanings

Pam Owen
Nighthawk Communications
Nighthawk1 -at- mindspring -dot- com
ICQ: 1487453

"Life is like Sanskrit read to a pony"
- Lou Reed

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