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Subject:Re: Developers From:"Steven J. Owens" <puff -at- NETCOM -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 18 Dec 1998 17:26:22 -0800
Sharon Burton-Hardin writes:
> Thank them for their input and the time taken for the effort. And then ask
> if it was technically accurate before the edit (sometimes the restructure
> actually changed the meaning, even though the grammar, et. al., is worse).
This is an important point; often engineers and programmers are
very sensitive about exact phrasing. Sometimes this is quite valid;
words in an engineering context often have their own special meaning,
which you may not be aware of (obvious examples from programming:
routine, process, task, basic...)
Pursue this line of thought carefully before assuming it was a
writing edit. Ask if it was technically accurate before hand, and if
not, then ask if any of the terms have a special meaning in this
Sometimes it's just obsession with exact accuracy, which isn't
always good from a writing point of view. For example, an analogy
does not have to exactly match - otherwise we wouldn't bother using
analogies. If that's the problem, point out to the engineer that you
clarify the issue in the next sentence or paragraph.
Sometimes it's just that they wrote before the read - reacting to
one sentence without noting that their concerns were addressed in the
next. That can even serve as a clue to you that maybe the order needs
to be restructured, or maybe you need to include an overview before
continuing on to the details.