instruction manualThe Business World and Environment so much more to day than before needs to use the services of a Technical Editor and Technical Writers because in business today Communication is KING.

 I am not writing this as a means to attract business although it would be beneficial.  I am writing this as a very concerned Technical Editor and Technical Writer, the standard of English and Writing has dropped dramatically over the last ten years.  Much of this is due to inadequacies in the education systems across the world.  A lot of it is due to the abbreviated (new) language the young are using to talk to each other.  As a qualified Technical Editor and Technical Writer I really want to do something about the standard of spoken and written English and native languages across the world.

I was taught how to construct a sentence using complete words and how to speak them properly (well sort of).  As time went on I learnt how to use abbreviations in speech and in writing but so people who listened to me and read what I had written could understand everything I said.  Today I find it very disturbing to listen to the young and when I use a dictionary, which is frequently, to see that shortened and newly invented words are creeping in.  ‘Why Oh Why’ is the establishment letting this happen?

Yes I may be a bit of a Traditionalist but I also embrace the twenty first century I just hate badly spoken and written language.  I am calling on every Government Education Department in every country in the world to take a big challenge.  We have to teach our young how to use language properly and that also goes for any second or third languages.  Language is a very beautiful thing and I think it is being destroyed by shortening and unnecessary abbreviation.  I want to start a campaign in Ireland for better language in both English and Irish.

I see language as our sole and most important method of communicating with all our neighbours in Europe and through out the world and with everyone in business.  To do this those in power and in business at all levels should have the highest of standards.  When I hear people talking in what has become HORRIBLY KNOWN AS “TEXT SPEAK” I cringe when I receive a text that uses “TEXT SPEAK”; I feel I have to go and find a Translator to put it into proper English.  In my view “TEXT SPEAK” should be banned.

Business is based a huge amount on trust and understanding of what the person writing or talking is saying to you.  Business survives on this principle and I see at this moment trust and understanding disappearing at a very high speed.  As a Technical Editor and Technical Writer I think it is part of our duty as Professionally Qualified Communicators to step forward and help sort this serious problem out.  Our Teachers and Lecturers are exceptionally good, don’t get me wrong, but Communicating is such a complex topic.  It is unfair to expect them to be able to teach every topic.  In my view qualified Technical Editors and Technical Writers should be brought in to Secondary School, Third Level Colleges, Institutes of Technology and Universities they should be used to work with English Teachers and Lecturers to explain the intricacies of English and Irish and to show what good and bad language can do for understanding and business.

As part of learning to speak our native language we are all taught Grammar (now mine may not be the best) but it seems when we leave school all that has been taught is instantly forgotten.  Business needs to not accept badly written and produced documents whether it is an e-mail or a Installation Manual for a complex piece of equipment and here I include Mobile Phone Handbooks and Television Set Up Handbooks and also reports for or from government and business, this also applies to Requests for Tender produced by government and private companies.

So why should Business and Industry use a Technical Editor or Technical Writer?  A Technical Editor will look at documents and they are able to understand how to make them easier and clearer for the end user to read and use.  A Technical Writer will write and format a document and insert any graphics or photographs into the document.  So what are the definitions of a Technical Editor and Technical Writer?

The definition of a Technical Editor “An Editor carries out these tasks and often many more.  When editing manually or on line he/she would check grammar and spelling, company style, collect contributions from write, authors, photographers, graphic artists, ensure everything is complete.  An editor would handle related clerical work judge technical or scientific merit of documents.  An editor should also determine suitability of material for target audience in the following areas organisation, presentation, word use, illustrations, comprehensibility, completeness and correctness retrievability and be involved from planning to completion.”

The definition of a Technical Writer is “A Technical Writer puts scientific and technical information into easily understandable language.  They prepare operating and maintenance manuals, catalogues, parts list assembly instructions sales promotion materials and project proposals.  Technical writers also plan and edit technical reports and oversee preparation of illustrations, photographs diagrams and charts.”

A company in this ever increasingly aware society and supposedly better educated population should have no hesitation about employing a specialist to prepare all of their documents.  This is becoming so much more essential as if and when a company fails if information is not in writing judgements can go against you.  Now if a company cannot afford to employ a Technical Editor or a Technical Writer on a full time basis because of financial constraints I think they should have no hesitation about considering outsourcing to a company that can carry out those types of services.

Finally it is my considered and strong belief that in modern business communications is a very poor relation and is very low on the agenda for much of business.  Some how this has to be addressed and I at this moment in time am not to sure how this could be achieved.  I certainly feel that it is something that has to happen and very quickly.  I will add that I personally think that all text speak should be band and any that has reached our dictionaries should immediately be taken out.  All of our children and the generations that follow should and must be taught how to communicate properly using their own language as it is and was designed to be.


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