RE: Tech writers with typewriters?

Subject: RE: Tech writers with typewriters?
From: "Jennifer Biscardi" <jbiscardi -at- ase-usa -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 12:38:23 -0400

I got a good chuckle out of the site, and for grins asked to have the
"Practice Drill" sent to me.

a snippet (tad long, so sorry):

>This article shows you how to build your technical writing skill in the
same way as you'd build your athletic ability - by giving you habitual
exercises that make for long-term >>success.
>These simple practical exercises will be a great investment in your
technical writing proficiency.
>Incorporating these exercises and practices into your everyday work and
play will build your writing strength. It will tone your writing muscles and
quicken your writing reflexes. And it will make the improvements in your
technical writing seem simple, progressive and fun!
>1. Keep a Technical Writer's 'First Aid Kit' Handy Tools for daily work
>should be readily to hand. A 'First Aid Kit' for technical writers will
include essential tools of the trade. They include:
>a) Essential Reference Books
* Dictionary
>You need a sizable dictionary, with some or all of the following: a
pronunciation guide, etymological references and synonym/antonyms. It will
have appropriate formatting, print size, and a solid binding.
>A printed bound dictionary, as opposed to an electronic word processor
version, continues to provide a writers 'first aid kit' in many ways. First
choices might be The Oxford Concise Dictionary, The Collins Concise
Dictionary, Chambers Dictionary, or the Random House Dictionary.
* Thesaurus
>The standard Roget's Thesaurus appears in numerous formats, at various
prices and under several publishing formats. This includes Oxford, Collins
and Penguin editions.
> * Atlas
>You need a recently published, well-indexed atlas. Depending on your needs,
it should have topographical, mineralogical, demographic and other
cartographic data. It should also have further information in brief text,
graphs, photographs and other illustrations. Atlases are always available
from a range of publishers, at markedly varied prices.
* Dictionary of quotations
>This dictionary will be ordered alphabetically by name, by date, or by
subject. Choose the format with which you feel most at ease.
>b) Work Materials
* Work diary
>You should have a simple system for recording the stock and flow of
allocated time, money, and all your other resources. You can do this on a
single sheet of paper, or on a computer system.
* Clippings file - for your writing
>You should organize a clippings file. This will record your stock and flow
of writing submissions. You can organize this by date, subject and
* Notebook
>A pocket-size ring-bound notebook provides a handy space for recording
* Stationery
* Computer hardware and software. Photographic equipment. These are
quite beyond the scope of this article.
>c) Background and Marketing Guides
* Address book
>This may be paper or computer-based - as mentioned in the work diary,
accounts, and records above.
* Library guides
>Using a library intelligently ranges from simple jobs such as locating
photocopiers or notice boards, to having specialist technical skills such as
accessing periodicals, microfiche files, multimedia, or inter-loan services.
> * Writing guides
>Publications on the craft of writing are essential 'first-aid-kit' writing
tools. They include books, magazines, e-zines and web-sites.
>Guides to technical style, usage, and convention are also important (e.g.
Fowler's Modern English Usage, or Longman's Guide to English Usage).
> * Business directories
>You'll need access to Business Who's Who, a business telephone directory,
website lists of publishers and related links, and press, radio and TV
guides. These are marketing tools for technical writers.
> * Technical references
>Specialist technical reference works will include specialist dictionaries
in areas such as medicine, science, literature, geography, or the arts. Keep
them permanently close at hand in your technical writer's first aid kit.
>All these are tools for regular work. Keep them handy and organized for
convenience. Let this kit of tools become part of your workstation, as an
extension to your computer system - one that you switch on at the beginning
of each work session.
>Every time you use your first aid kit tools, you'll be switching on a super
PC in your mind. And, with regular use, you will become more savvy with its
usage, applications and programs.

>>>>Perhaps you don't have the spare cash to set up your first aid kit of
writing tools. Why not take a little credit at the bank? Or sell an item of
surplus furniture or electrical >>>>equipment? You're making an investment
and if you spend wisely you'll reap dividends.

>2. Use your technical writer's first aid kit every day
>a) Daily Vocabulary Building Blocks. Total time should not be more than
fifteen minutes a day!
* Check one word in common usage every morning
>As you read the daily newspaper or e-zine, choose one word and check its
precise meaning in your dictionary. Jot the word down in your notebook, if
you cannot check the dictionary immediately. Use coloured markers to
highlight your noted definition. Toss a mnemonic memory-link into the mix
'for good measure'. Do this every day! Do so between your cereal and orange
juice, if you like - it takes only a few seconds.

> * Check one unusual or obscure word every morning

Hey, I understand the Dictionary, Thesaurus and Writing Guides, but again,
why do I need an Atlas? And a Business Telephone Book? :) It is quite
antiquated basic information. But a good read in the loo.

Jenn in Jersey

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-213354 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-213354 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of W. Kelly Oja
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 11:33 AM
Subject: Re: Tech writers with typewriters?

The thing that popped out at me was how enrol was speled 'enrol'. I do not
think this is the English (Across the pond English) way of speling.

Sorry, Thursdays are Petty Day.

"Look after yourselves and lead good lives"



Now Shipping -- WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word! Easily create online
Help. And online anything else. Redesigned interface with a new
project-based workflow. Try it today!

Doc-To-Help 2005 now has RoboHelp Converter and HTML Source: Author
content and configure Help in MS Word or any HTML editor. No
proprietary editor! *August release.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Re: Program to run programs afterhours
Next by Author: Great Blog about learning materials
Previous by Thread: Re: Tech writers with typewriters?
Next by Thread: Re: Tech writers with typewriters?

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

Sponsored Ads