Re: Techwhirling ain't a science? Maybe it should be!

Subject: Re: Techwhirling ain't a science? Maybe it should be!
From: bbatorsk -at- admin -dot- nj -dot- devry -dot- edu
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 09:40:01 -0500

Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 09:36:45 -0500
To: Janet_Swisher -at- trilogy -dot- com
From: bbatorsk -at- admin -dot- nj -dot- devry -dot- edu
Subject: Re: Techwhirling ain't a science? Maybe it should be!
In-Reply-To:
<LYR18215-17202-1999 -dot- 10 -dot- 29-16 -dot- 25 -dot- 57--bbatorsk#admin -dot- nj -dot- devry -dot- edu -at- lists -dot- rayco
mm.com>

Janet,

Perhaps technical communication is really a branch of the old discipline of
rhetoric whose partition into language departments and speech departments
in our universities continues to affect the practice of practical
communication. Though an academic issue--and therefore irrelevant to some
among us--the "death" of rhetoric as an academic discipline seems to me to
inform the search for a "home" for technical writing and standards.

Technical communication is now often a course delivered by engineering
programs. The oldest Ph.D. program in the Technical Communication resides
in an engineering institute.

But don't misinterpret what I am saying: Just as straight A's in academic
engineering courses doesn't correlate with success as an engineer, grades
in rhetorical disciplines won't correlate with success as a communicator.
Studying rhetoric will not guarantee success in technical communication
anymore than studying Milton guarantees success as an epic poet. (They
don't even correlate.) It can, however, help. It might also give some sense
of unity to the diverse disciplines that any applied art (or science)
covers--physics, geology, meterology, politics, project management for the
civil engineer; social sciences, psychology, linguistics, project
management, subject matter expertese for the technical communicator.

Barry






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