In my job as a consultant to high-tech companies, I am constantly writing and editing technical materials. Inevitably, almost all technical articles that I review and edit from third parties start out with the wrong perspective. Once I finish reading the first two paragraphs, I can hear the author’s voice shouting off the page: “This is all about me and my product!” How can such a personal perspective creep into a technical article, you ask? Easy. It’s what I call the Lazy Perspective.
Recently I completed an assignment to help technical managers and engineers speak better. The problem? They had adopted a culture of techno-speak. Even colleagues within the company couldn’t figure out what was being said without an acronym dictionary. Acronyms are a way of life in technology. Yet the problem wasn’t just the acronyms. Meaningless jargon was getting in the way, along with a number of bad habits.