Re: Crit lit/tech writing anecdote

Subject: Re: Crit lit/tech writing anecdote
From: Jennifer Kraus <jlkraus -at- AMETEKWATER -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 15:25:06 -0500

I just realized I sent this to Bill rather than to the list...Sorry Bill! What can I say, it's Monday.

Here's a little anecdote for fellow "literary" (hate that word) techwhirlers:
Bill Burns writes:
<Uh-oh. Lit-crit mode kicking in. Got... to get... coffee... now...>

A professor in I had in college once told our crit lit class an amusing anecdote. We were reading some heavy criticism (Derrida, I think) and complaining about the verbosity of the writing. Our professor told us that when he had first started teaching, he taught both literary criticism and technical writing. One year, he had a student take both classes from him in the same semester. In the technical writing class, this professor would stress the importance of being succinct and to the point. Then this student would move the crit lit class, and...well, you get the picture. About halfway through the semester, the student, completely confused and disheartened with both courses, confronted the professor and asked which was the he was being taught to write in the technical writing class, or the writing he was taught to appreciate in the literary criticism class. The professor didn't really have a good answer for him, except for the "each is right in its own context" spiel. After that year, he made sure that he never taught both courses simultaneously again.

(This professor also happens to be one of the nation's foremost experts on Thomas Pynchon...hmmm...a coincidence? I think not).

Still trying to institute WASTE as the interoffice mail system,

Jennifer Kraus
Technical Writer/ Web Guru
Ametek Water Filtration
Sheboygan, WI
jlkraus -at- ametekwater -dot- com

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: ISO Standards for Warnings
Next by Author: Re: Is it a good job?
Previous by Thread: Re: Value of Documentation
Next by Thread: Washington DC area

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads