TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Dumbing it down From:Simon North <north -at- SYNOPSYS -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 9 Dec 1998 18:19:58 +0001
Having attended Tafte's seminar in Palo Alto yesterday on
presenting data visually (highly recommended, as are his books),
where the subject of "dumbing down" passed review, I'd like to
second Professor Tafte's sentiment that even the phrase "dumbing
down" shows a contempt for the reader that runs counter to the
letter and the spirit of good technical writing.
Write to a level appropriate to the intended readership by all
means, but 'dumbing down' doesn't belong in our vocabulary
(unless we wish to return to the days of talking about 'lusers').