36 or so More Reasons NOT to Become a Technical Writer

Day 2. 5 pages, 1,513 words.

An amusing thread occurred on Facebook the other day, as a fun little article about technical writing went the rounds of my professional friends.

The thread looked like this:

Discourse was free and high-quality.

I have lazily binglated the Finnish parts, in most cases they are hilariously off but close enough that English-speakers will get the gist and Finnish-speakers will be amused on yet another level.

The article, for reference (and out of fairness, I like to plug and assist my colleagues in gaining visibility even if they are competitors or traitors or differently-competent or whatever), is here. You may want to refer to it because the copy I have posted below is all marked up and mostly-unreadable.

Anyway, it was amusing for the sad, spell-checkery, nit-picky, Grammar-Nazi-ey life it seemed to relegate us to, and also for the apparently glorious pay we received.

The layers of amusement value didn’t stop there, though, because it turned out the author was actually a former co-worker of ours from an Indian office of the company. So the thread devolved, as you can see, into a moderate-to-heavy bitchfest about the poor guy and his skill and habits.

But hey, he’s gone off and started his own company. So good for him. He’s done what so many others have – he’s benefited from our wit and wisdom, and moved on to use it to his advantage. And I have seen far worse material passed off as grammatically sound (right here on this blog, even).

But perhaps the crowning glory of this thread was the sheer number of errors in the article itself.

Oh yeah, I went there.

I’ve marked down a few of them here. I left out plenty, since this wasn’t a technical manual so he does deserve some slack. But if you want to join in the fun, let me know what else you find!

King Oranges shouldn’t take it to heart, though. We are all tense and looking to let off steam, and he said it himself in his article – this is what we do.

So he shouldn’t really be surprised, right?

This entry was posted in Hatboy's Nuggets of Crispy-Fried Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 36 or so More Reasons NOT to Become a Technical Writer

  1. Katy says:

    No comment on the plural in ‘King Oranges’?

  2. Ajay Narang says:

    Thank you stchucky :).. I am so amused and grateful to my fellow Technical Writers who took out time to dissect this 45-minute effort (this includes posting on Facebook)!

  3. dreameling says:

    Oh man, that really was layers of funny (both the article and the Facebook thread). You gotta love our Finnish colleagues for their honesty and humor.

    • stchucky says:

      I felt relieved that King Oranges was so gracious about the ribbing, and guilty we were so mean … but he’s right, to be a technical writer you have to be tough. It’s not about you, it’s about The Text.

  4. aaronthepatriot says:


    Now that was a good bit of effort on this guy and his article. If it were me, that would mean I was either bored or really angry. And even the angry bit would require a fair amount of boredom to be arsed marking up his entire article. Or maybe this is a re-do of that job application you botched before with your Facebook blasting?

  5. Ajay Narang says:

    STChucky, watch out for our next blog, 12 Reasons Companies hate Technical Writers! I can’t wait for the comments.. But the blog releases on October 6, 2014, 0930 am IST.

  6. Ajay Narang says:

    Hello stchucy,

    Here is our new blog:
    How to dig 21 holes in a Structured Document?

    Waiting for all the digging from your end :).


    • stchucky says:

      There are hidden layers of brilliance here, Your Majesty. I’m going to have to sit and think about it for a while.

      I don’t want to stoop to hyperbole, but this could be the beginning of the Little Red Book that will kick-start the Technical Communicators’ revolution.

  7. Ajay Narang says:

    Hello Stchucky,

    Good morning! Some more content for you to dissect 🙂

    Do let me know what you feel about this new blog:

    13-13 Alternate Careers to Technical Writing


    Cheers 🙂
    – Ajay Narang

  8. Ajay Narang says:

    Hello Stchucky,

    If you have been wondering, why you haven’t had some reasons to laugh from our end, it was just because of the festive season in India. We are back at work, and here is our latest blog:

    14 Ways to Make a Good Technical Writer Quit – http://bit.ly/1FGBshv

    Kindly dissect the blog and share your valuable inputs. Aah, let us know if we have improved.

    – Ajay Narang

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