Re: Editor Please....

Subject: Re: Editor Please....
From: "Higgins, Lisa" <LHiggins -at- CARRIERACCESS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 10:29:59 -0600

> I think it's a little too late to apply logic and
> reason to English
> grammar. :D

Grammar is logical and reasonable. It's just really, really complex and
difficult to articulate. It's usage that's silly.

> In a language that thrives on the exception to the
> rule, and where
> spelling and syntax is haphazard at best, I think it IS important to
> maintain the rules that hold the language together,
> particularly when our
> profession tries to promote correct use of language and we
> purport to be
> experts of a sort.

My job is to help my audience get what they want as far as training,
education, or understanding. I have no ulterior political motives in doing
so, and I think that ulterior motives would tend to get in the way of my
real job.

I don't think technical writers have any place promoting anything not
directly related to the subject they're writing about.

> If we changed the existing rules when they
> didn't seem
> logical, we'd have a *real* mess on our hands - think of the
> confusion that
> new computer terms have brought to the writing world, let
> alone messing with
> old conventions.

I don't accept those rules in the first place. I don't follow rules. I write
as simply, clearly, and accurately as I can. If I have to stop and twist up
my text to keep together what people commonly think of as an infinitive
phrase, all I end up doing is mucking my writing up and making it more
difficult for my readers.

My job isn't to protect someone else's idea of how the English she should be
spoke. My job is to make my users' jobs easier so they can go home and ride
rollercoasters and stuff.


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