RE: Are these words being used?

Subject: RE: Are these words being used?
From: "John David Hickey" <dave -at- toonboom -dot- com>
To: "Techwr-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 14:39:12 -0500


> We're technical writers. We're supposed to make people's jobs easier, not
> teach them how to communicate. We do not define the language and terms of
> our industries. The users do. Our job is to learn their language, and to

But these users are going to refer to our books to learn how to talk about
the technology, so we need to find out what the proper term is and make that
the official term so that everyone is speaking the same language. In that
way, we standardize the jargon used.

In Bob's original question, he said that one SME said that everyone uses
"shipability" as the term. My first question would be "Do you mean that's
what YOU use with everybody?" What if other people use other terms like
"sendability" or "orderability" or "shipable" or "sendable" to describe if a
product can be shipped? In this way, wouldn't it be our job to find the best
word to use and then make it the standard term, making it easier for the
people to communicate their ideas.
Be seeing you,

John David Hickey
Grand Poohbah of Documentation

ToonBoom Technologies
Montreal, Quebec, Canada eh?
Tel: 514-278-TOON (8666)
Fax: 514-278-BOOM (2666)
Pag: 514-205-9209

Their site:
My site:

They say the pen is mightier than the sword.
But if you miss a deadline, you'd better bring the sword.
Don't confuse my opinions with my employer's.
Each exists in blissful ignorance of the other.

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