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Subject:Re: Active Ownership From:Melissa Morgan <mmorgan -at- INTREPID -dot- CDG-HARGRAY -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 7 Jul 1999 13:39:48 -0500
I'm not sure I completely agree with the idea
or editing as a passive activity. I think there
are too many levels of editing to be lumped into
one category. Sure, if I look at a document and
mark grammatical errors, I am performing a mostly
passive function. However, this is not how I edit
the documents that come across my desk.
I don't know if I speak for most technical editors
here, but I feel my job (when I am editing the work
of other tech writers) is to find anything that is
wrong with the document. This includes not only
grammar, but functionality and accuracy as well.
Otherwise we end up with well-polished "poop".
(Note: Period outside of quotation marks)
My point is, in order to edit on this level, I must
have some involvement with the doc I am reading.
Previous knowledge is nice, but if not, then I need
to have access to the hardware/software the doc
is written for in order to verify for myself that the
information I am editing is indeed correct. Therefore,
the process of editing is, in my case, a very active
process. I also think it is possible, and perhaps
fairly common, for a tech writer to be a good technical
editor, and vice versa. It's certainly not easy to really
shine in both realms (I think most are a bit stronger in one
or the other), but I feel that one necessarily feeds the
other to some degree. Just my 2 pennies, though.