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Tom Murrell writes:
.. I don't think Technical Writing can be reduced to a Prime
Directive. Information is not more important than Audience, nor is Audience
more important than Information.
I agree with this, that technical writing can't be reduced to a prime
However, a single document can-and should. We should be able to identify the
"prime directive" of any single document. If we can't, if the document
serves too many masters, it loses its relevance.
Our job is to plan and write documents. If you have two different purposes
to address, sometimes you can address both, at the expense of being perfect
for neither-but the more divergent the purposes are, the more you should
consider writing two different documents.
That said, the current discussions of single-sourcing documents become
totally relevant-is it possible to reuse appropriate paragraphs/sections
between two different documents with different purposes?