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Subject:Proposal Writing for Large Corporations From:Steven Jong <SteveFJong -at- AOL -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 16 Apr 1997 15:00:18 -0400
Avi Jacobson <avi_jaco -at- NETVISION -dot- NET -dot- IL> wrote of the "English Teacher
Syndrome," in which engineers who spoke English as a second language refused
to accept correction of their (obvious) grammatical errors. It seems to me
that there's a strong psychological urge at work here; I just don't know what
Based on my own and others' reaction to editing, I think it's safe to say
it's not pleasant even for native English speakers to be told their work is
grammatically flawed. If I may generalize, I'm guessing that these people
would feel insecure about their grasp of English, and wouldn't want to be
corrected (thus rubbing their noses in their mistakes). You'd think they
would welcome the chance to have their mistakes caught and fixed before the
documents went public, but there you are. I would predict that the absolute
worst thing you could say to them would be the otherwise logical statement,
"You don't want this to get out and show everyone you can't write in
We might extend this theory to non-writers in general. Perhaps the root
motivation of people who argue grammar with writers is insecurity (assuming
the writers are right in the first place, of course!).
Steven Jong, Documentation Group Leader ("Typo? What tpyo?")
Lightbridge, Inc, 281 Winter St., Waltham, MA 02154 USA
<jong -at- lightbridge -dot- com>, 617.672.4902 [voice], 617.890.2681 [FAX]
Home Sweet Homepage: http://members.aol.com/SteveFJong