TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:RE: Are these words being used? From:"Ronica Roth" <rroth -at- exactis -dot- com> To:"'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Mon, 8 Nov 1999 15:57:16 -0700
> -----Original Message-----
> The point I was trying to make is that we should use the
> users' terms (if these are indeed the users' terms) rather
> than substituting our own preference. And to determine
> whether they are the users' terms, we have to do user and
> task analysis.
> If users really do use "orderability" and "shippability,"
> those are the terms the documents should use, whether they
> appear in a dictionary or not.
Finally I MUST speak up. We are not scribes here to blindly accept and
record what the "experts" tell us. As technical writers, we should be a sort
of expert in the technical aspects of the field in which we are working. It
is my job not only to be the foremost expert on the English language but
also to understand what and for whom I am writing, and, therefore,
(combining my expertise) to be the best-qualified to determine how to
communicate clearly about the subject at hand.
Hence, as tech writer I am THE authority in the company on whether
orderability and shipability and words that should appear in any company
documentation. I agree that if I do not know (for whatever reason), it is my
job to find out--with user and task analysis. But that must be taken into
account along with my own knowledge about communication.
rroth -at- exactis -dot- com