Re: Subject Matters (was English Majors, etc. etc.)

Subject: Re: Subject Matters (was English Majors, etc. etc.)
From: John Nesbit <janesbit -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 08:08:20 PST

Andrew Plato wrote:

>Yet to truly communicate complex technical issues and ideas
>effectively you must have intimate, hands-on knowledge of how those
>ideas and issues are used in real life. For example, if you are
>writing a manual about services in Windows NT, you need hands-on,

Must agree w/ Andrew on this.
In my current situation I've been required to do both sorts of
technical writing about computers: write about aspects I knew quite a
bit about experientially, and about aspects I only had a vague notion
While they were satisfied with my writings about both areas, I
wasn't...because I knew that some of the work was about things I was
totally clueless about (or at best only foggily familiar with).
There were passages that I knew would be confusing to a true novice
because I was fuzzy about it as well. Sure enough, when our least
computer literate person got to another phase on that particular
project, she would invariably ask me to "translate", so we'd have a good
laugh as we both attempted to decipher the material.
Fortunately, that didn't happen too frequently.
I've been able to write about material I am very familiar with the past
several months, so the writing is much more coherent and useful for the
audience; however, today I know that they're going to have me write some
educational material about telecommunications, an area that I just have
some general knowledge about.
I'll have to do the best that I can, as there's no one at the workplace
with practical hands-on experience in that field, BUT my current
roommate does. So I'll be doing the best I can to get inside my head
what he has actually experienced.
Andrew is right about the hands-on aspect. I've attempted to
communicate this at my workplace, but they continue to see things a
compartmentalized--the technical people do their techie things and will
occasionally acts as techie gurus while the writers job is just to
We know that we can only write effectively about what we have
experienced. Wasn't that a concept taught us English major types in
narrative writing classes? It's true in the technical fields as well.


Get Your Private, Free Email at

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

Previous by Author: Re: Web Authoring Tool
Next by Author: Re: Web Authoring Tools
Previous by Thread: Re: Subject Matters (was English Majors, etc. etc.)
Next by Thread: Enter arrow (was Frame 5.5 / Unix flavor)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads