• Roberta Scholz: Editing in the mind’s eye

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    PROFILES By Chris Husted Everyone needs that mental space to better appreciate whatever they are doing at that point in time, whether it be working on
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    • #2431459

      A professor once took her a stated: “lf you want to become a linguist, you need to be more accurate. And you need to p evidence” She took it to heart.

      ??? What happened here ???

      -- rc primak

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    • #2431492

      ??? What happened here ???

      Me. That one’s on me, an error in transcription. It’s fixed online.

      I hate it when that happens.

      • #2431502

        p=provide was fixed online, but what does “a” equal?

        “A professor once took her a stated:”

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.1778 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

    • #2431546

      I’m not surprised at Roberta’s study of an other-than-English language.  I’m a former electronics technical writer who had an epiphany about learning other languages early in my adult life, especially programming languages.   When the Air Force put me through eleven months of immersive experiences while learning Russian at the Army Language School   I had to UN-learn a lot of cast-in-concrete rules in my mind before I could tackle new concepts.   For example, in English I never had to remember — and voice — whether or not a noun was male, female, or neutral. Russian was hard;  learning rudimentary dialects of Turkish and later Tex-Mex and border Spanish became much easier.  Even down-under Australian. 😊

      Later in life, as part of technical writing about software, I definitely had to learn new rules about non-decimal number systems. For example, the break that occurs when you run out of digits while counting, and have to accommodate binary, octal, and hexadecimal number systems at a minimum.  No, 10 doesn’t come after 9 in hexadecimal counting, and you can’t even get to 9 in octal.  Once again I was UNLEARNING concepts embedded since childhood.  I wish I had been exposed to other languages and numbering systems while I was in grade school or even high school and could have learned how to UNLEARN implied rules long before the rules became solidified as The Absolute Gospel in my brain  (e.g. i before e except after c).

    • #2432578

      This is interesting.  Part of my last job before retirement was to write step by step procedures on how to perform jobs that I was so good at!  You really do have to look at it from the prospective of somebody who knows nothing about the subject. Don’t assume they know what you mean.

      My other thought is how copy editing (“proofreading”) has disappeared in the news media. The modern concept is that the writer is responsible for his/her own content and they should proofread it themselves. Maybe they do, but tons of mistakes go to print, be in on paper or internet – and I don’t think they care. It’s more about getting clicks than accuracy.

      On the other hand, it sure is much more important to be accurate when it comes to technical writing. What may seem like a minor error can make huge difference.

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