Sense and Sensibility

I’m getting old. Very old. Not only am I grumpy, I’m old. Shoot me now. Put me out to pasture or just send me to the glue factory. I am old. The reason I say this is largely the fault of my cousin. We were at her birthday party on Saturday night and as her friends started to drift in, fashionably late of course, it struck me just how old I am. There I was, surrounded by nubile young girls and all I could think was “ohhh, they’ll catch their death..”. Hmmm, that last sentence makes me sound like a dirty old pervert, sitting in the corner of the hall, my seedy little eyes roving for glimpses of flesh. For …

Continue reading »

Revisiting the basics

There are some fundamentals tenets of our profession that are widely accepted. One being that you always need to know your audience before y can begin to understand their needs and so produce the information that they require. The reason I mention this is because, whilst it’s something very basic and is deeply grained in the technical writer part of my brain, I keep forgetting it. Let me explain. I’m currently working on a mini-project aimed at making sure the language we use and the things we talk about through all levels of our product information (from the website and marketing brochures, down to the lowest level of reference information) tell a consistent story. From basic facts and terminology to …

Continue reading »

Sneaky

The scene is a small darkly lit room. On the desk sits a lamp and a computer screen glows. A man sits in front of the screen, staring intently. Lost in his thoughts… Bloody hell. Can’t be right. Can’t. Shit. It is. Where’s that list? No, the other one. OK, here we go. 1 of those. 5 of those. 2 of those. Hmmm need to get that thing elsewhere. And that. Crap, that too. Plenty of time really. Calendar isn’t that ful… ohh crap it is. Maybe that will do. Yeah that’ll do. So will that. Ohh and that’s perfect. Wow, I think I’m done! Woo hooo, time for a beer. With that, the man pushes himself back from the …

Continue reading »

Mr. Men

Like many children of my era, I grew up being read, then reading, the wonderfully insightful Mr. Men books. I had a Mr. Tickle hot water bottle, Mr. Men wallpaper and even a matching Mr. Men bedspread. I had the Mr. Men tapes, which I’m sure my parents must’ve grown thoroughly sick off as I demanded that, for the umpteenth weekend in a row, that it accompany our journey to visit my Gran and even a windup plastic Mr. Bump. I have vague memories of lying in bed, listening to my Dad reading me the stories. Hazy recollections of standing at the counter in John Menzies with my Mum as she purchased another of the books. The theme tune evokes, …

Continue reading »