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Subject:Re: Not wanted - tech writers From:Katav <katav -at- YAHOO -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 16 Dec 1997 10:49:56 -0800
'Cuse me, but isn't the following a bit contradictory:
To mine this niche, Weber has put together an eclectic staff. Rather
than technical writers, who Weber said were too entrenched in both the
subject matter and in the old formats, the firm turned to liberal arts
(As I read this, ''TWs can't change.'' Old dogs ...)
Weber & Associates came to its mission about three years ago after
SPENDING NEARLY A DECADE PRODUCING TRADITIONAL TYPES OF (caps mine)
training and sales material for companies. At some point, they
realized few people were reading what they were producing. The
firm decided to reinvent itself, with the help of several information
(What the heck is an 'information expert?')
"They said, `Yeah, this is terrible. I can see why no one would want
to read it,' " recalls Weber. "It was a painful session, because a lot
of the material was our material."
Now, abuse of grammar aside, it seems to me
IF ''Weber & Associates came to its mission'' after
''nearly a decade'' producing documents it came to
WHY would OTHER TWs (one must presume W&A was a TW company) fail to
make a similar transition?
To its credit -- albeit the discovery is not
W&A's -- it woke up to the first Rule of Writing:
Know the audience and write to/for it.
To its disgrace, it used a v_e_r_y wide brush
to tar and feather a varied group of individuals. True enough, there
ARE tech writers who have trouble writing their own names -- just as
there are History majors who can't produce a coherent sentence
(especially SOME hanging out in the Halls of Ivy).
I'm a /writer./ I HAPPEN to do technical writing along with other
writing jobs. Some of my writing may be /stuffy/ because -- as an
earlier respondent made clear -- my client insists upon a specific
style (I have in mind MIL-M-*****).
Writing is an /art/ ('cause I said so) so perhaps bringing on
liberal arts majors is a good thing -- it can't be any worse than
demanding a TW have an EE or CS or ... I would HOPE W&A realizes that
its not the degree (or lack of), but the person that makes or breaks
the publication (customer constraints not withstanding).
Katav ( katav -at- yahoo -dot- com )
Who is wise? He who learns from every person;
Who is honored? He who honors others.
(R. Ben Zoma [Avot 4:1])
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