Recently I found, buried on a bookshelf, my file of cartoons and memorabilia from a career in technical communication. Inside was this: a photocopy of a photocopy of a three-hole punched page, that someone gave me in my very first job.
(click the image to enlarge it)
Here’s proof that even back at the dawn of time, technical writers grasped the need to write clear prose. We understood that SMEs don’t always know what’s best for the people who read our content. And we appreciated the benefits of poking fun at ourselves.
So to all of you Barneys out there, who toil to make content understandable and relevant: I hope I’ve provided the environment for the implementation of your pleasure-sensing apparatus. Remember that you come from a proud tradition of men and women doing what’s best for our readers. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you know is right.
Postscript: I considered titling this post Some things never change. But in the end I wanted a more positive spin. While the Marvins of the world are far from extinct, I really think there are fewer of them today than back when.
Post-postscript: I have no idea where this piece originated, but I’d love to give credit to its creator. If by some chance you know who that is, please tell me.
Post-post-postscript: My favorite part of the dialog is “????..” followed by “Don’t interrupt.” What’s your favorite?