The year’s first big winter storm is expected to hit the U.S. East Coast this weekend. You know it’s big because the Weather Channel has given it a name: Jonas.
A few years ago TWC started naming winter storms as if they were hurricanes — a practice that amuses some, confuses many, and edifies practically no one. TWC’s explanation of the “science” behind naming winter storms is a technical-writing tour de force, mixing a few high-sounding facts with colorful graphs and a sprinkling of acronyms, and wrapping it all in a thick coating of earnestness.
Anyhow, I got to thinking. If TWC can give names to winter storms, why can’t we give names to the various parts of the technical writing process? Something like these….
- Doc Plan Holliday: The project is one big gamble
- Doc Plan Watson: All parts of the project are in harmony
- Doc Plan Brown: Looking to the future and harking back to the past
Agile scrum stand-up meetings
- Scrum Meeting Spider-Man: Everything happens at a high level
- Scrum Meeting Superman: Faster than a speeding bullet
- Scrum Meeting Green Lantern: Dedicated to rooting out all evil from the user stories
The instructions for configuring the software
- Task Topic Gordian: It’ll tie you up in knots
- Task Topic Steely Dan: You know — pretzel logic
- Task Topic Kobayashi Maru: No right answer, but what you do will reveal your character
After all that planning and writing, the review draft
- Draft Hemingway: Kind of terse….
- Draft Faulkner: …and kind of verbose
- Draft Steinbeck: Not too terse, not too verbose, but maybe not quite “professional” sounding
Building the content for publishing
- Build Hoover: Content sucked up from everywhere
- Build Frankenstein: Content cobbled together to make something that, well, kinda works
- Build Macbeth: A combination of the first two, and everyone dies in the end
OK, it’s your turn. Use the comments section to tell me the ones I missed.