Re: FWD: Meatball Tech Writing

Subject: Re: FWD: Meatball Tech Writing
From: Cyndy Davis <kivrin -at- ZDNETMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 19:14:28 -0000

Dear Anon -

I feel your pain!! While it is important to strive for the best you can do, sometimes the best you can do is to let it go and focus on something else. My advice: Pick the battle, is the documentation going to be read by a great number of users? Are there manuals you could work on that are "more important?" Focus on what serves the most of your users most of your time.

With that said, I recently had an experience like this. My company worked out a deal to work with another company. It ended up that we were responsible for releasing their product. I ended up with a mass of Frame files to "update" in our style. The theory was that I would stick their text in our layout and send it to the printer. (A couple day job at most!) Once I took a look at their text, I cringed. I asked if I could edit the text for general stuff (comma splices, misspellings, etc.). After many phone calls, I got a "yes, you can but don't change the meanings."

It took me 3 weeks to "correct" their text. Just getting rid of homonym mistakes, comma splices, sentence fragments, serious organization problems, etc. I couldn't even try to see if it was technically correct, I didn't have a product (not even a beta). With the writing errors, I feel that there must be accuracy errors. But, we had to get on with business, so it went to the printer.

Was it wrong? Yes. Could I do anything about it? Not really. Does it serve the user? No. Did it teach me something? Yes. We instituted some standards on text from this company as well as included more time on future projects.

Hope this helps.

Anon wrote: Perfection, or anything remotely
>close to it, is not an option.

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