RE: Tracking off

Subject: RE: Tracking off
From: John -dot- Sheridan-Smith -at- bmwfin -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 10:11:06 -0000

The ideas that no damage can be done by giving a reader too much info and
that the writer's job is to give the reader all the knowledge he has on the
topic are almost as absurd as the idea that lack of total accuracy in a
document is automatically the writer's fault.

Too much info can lead some readers (whose behaviou CAN be predicted by
suitable analysis) to fail to read or absorb the RELEVANT info. Also, there
are many situations where the person paying the writer legitimately (but so
what if it's illegitmately - he's paying) wants to restrict the amount of
information given to specific groups of readers to prevent those readers
from using the information to do things that the writer-payer does not want

Inaccuracy caused by lack of information is a common occurence in the real
world. It's no good banging on about how a good writer goes and extracts
info by using his staggering communication and persuasion skills; we all
know that's what the ideal is and most of us do our best to achieve it, but
the fact is that for many reasons, all the info is sometimes just not

Yes accuracy is of the highest importance but it is not the only thing of
the highest importance; if it were, there would be no need to employ tech
writers. Now there's an interesting idea....


John -dot- Sheridan-Smith -at- bmwfin -dot- com

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