Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- Test Your Knowledge of 4 Basic Fonts – Drag & Drop - January 27, 2017
- How NOT to Design a Web Site - January 25, 2017
- Hazards of Poorly Written Technical Documentation - December 26, 2016
An intensely personal account and self-examination by a technical writer from Pennsylvania… Fascinating!
“There are days when I’m just not sure about my job, days when the caffeine isn’t enough to take my mind off thinking I should move to Cambodia and become a Buddhist monk, or fly to Tatooine and shoot womp rats with Luke’s surviving relatives. Then I would escape Microsoft Word’s squiggly underlining of words that have been in the English vocabulary for years. And by the way, did you know that passive voice isn’t popular anymore? Yeah, Microsoft says so. Not that passive voice was ever popular to begin with, but personally I think we’re too hard on it nowadays. This is sort of disheartening to proposal writers who need use it to obscure agency of action. Now I might otherwise need to tell the truth….
… Language and technology can do good things too, like fashion some excellent Star Ways parodies, tell you how to build tree houses, cook TV dinners, and delete spam mail. As a technical writer, I, using both language and technology, get to engage in all-out war against the mischief we ourselves cause through language and technology. What it comes down to is that technical writing is not only an adventurous fight against a “dark side,” of sorts, but is intrinsically a humanitarian enterprise. And I couldn’t possibly imagine a profession that isn’t at its heart both exciting and humanitarian. (You would probably inject a religious element here, too, and I’d be curious to know how and why.)