Monthly Archives: February 2014

Killing interest in your documentation and how to fix it

Imagine you are sitting on a train and looking out the window. The landscape you are passing through is flat and brown; fields at the bordering time of year between winter and spring. One field looks like another, with electrical … Continue reading

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The long and short of it: Conciseness and quickness in writing

One of the greatest Italian writers of any century, Italo Calvino, was supposed to deliver a set of lectures in Harvard in 1985-86 but tragically died just beforehand. However, the drafts of the lectures he was going to give have … Continue reading

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You don’t read with your head but with your heart

As it is just after Valentine’s Day, I thought this would be an apt subject to write about. Technical writing is one of the most conservative corners of the documentation/writing world. We pull faces when we see a new unapproved word being … Continue reading

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God is a technical writer

The ten commandments is possibly the most famous piece of technical writing in the western world and it was written by God himself (or so you might believe if you are a member of one of the Judeo-Christian religions). The … Continue reading

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Fear and loathing in documentation

Oftentimes, it feels as if technical writers are fighting a losing battle with their own mindset. The mind, by degrees of cultural fine-tuning and millions of years of evolution, is hard-wired to find the best method of communicating for any … Continue reading

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Passive voice in tech writing

Use the active voice and never use the passive voice, ever! Does this sound familiar to tech writers? It is written into style guides, it is in Strunk and White (and Geoffrey K. Pullum does a nice critique of it that I … Continue reading

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