While this topic might not interest you very much, considering your remedial level of education and no apparent interest in the professional world – given your recent outbursts in childish frivolity towards all things except the release date of the Insane Clown Posse’s newest “album” if that’s what it is to be called….you could benefit from this letter more than most.
Technical & Professional communication is two things at the same time. At first, it is the most dignified and efficient form of communication we have at our disposal. By this, I mean that it is concise, accurate and direct. Rather than telling me “Dude you won’t believe it, this year’s The Gathering was UNREAL, people did the craziest things.” You would say something more like “The Gathering this year was excellent.” Concise, accurate (depending on your point of view) and direct. We all know that I’m horrible at the placement of commas. My years growing up playing trombone made me see them as places to mark for you to breath, much as poetry uses stanzas, I use commas to dictate the flow of a piece, much, like, this. We all know, however, that what I just did is horribly unprofessional and heinously grammatically incorrect. With all hope, I will be more efficient in my use of commas and more concise in my way of writing by the end of this semester’s course. My verbose ways have had the best of me in several occasions, so this shall hopefully steer me in a more direct path to whatever my literary objective may be.
The second thing Technical & Professional Communication can be seen as, is the stripping of individuality from the individual man. The mechanization of language and man (I suggest, dear Cousin, that you watch the opening scenes of the film Brazil to better understand what I am speaking of) and robbing language of the inherent beauty it can posses – despite some poor excuse for a rap group’s efforts to ruin it.
Why would this be seen that way? Simple, the same as we are all taught to see the same end to a poem, to live by a similar time line, and ask “what is best for society” we are being taught how best to communicate in all of these situations (again I would refer you to a film, this time The Dead Poet’s Society staring the late Robin Williams). While we can all agree that there must be common linguistic ground for us all to stand upon, what is so wrong with any one person conveying their experience, their life, or their problems in the work place in the way they best see fit?
To illustrate this point, how easy is it to sum up your life in 140 characters? Impossible right? I would argue that if it is, you aren’t really alive at all – a sad reality for many. No, we are a people of words, however many or few we wish to choose. Have you ever stumbled upon the writing of Thoreau my dear Cousin? On somethings he has a many great things to say, while on others, he is as concise and to the point as anyone could be. It is simply what the occasion calls for. Now many would say that professional and technical communication is indeed an occasion in which conciseness is called for. To them I would say, where is this in our Congressmen? In our law books? Indeed Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Moore and James Madison, while expounding upon the many things that our lives and government are now based upon did not hope to convey such things in as few words as possible.
There is an art to language, no man can argue that. The lives of men are already mechanized to such a point, sent along conveyor belts of education and social expectations, that to limit language appears, to me, as a very slippery slope.
I hope you enjoyed this letter, and that you might have some thoughts on it as well. In many instances I am simply playing the devil’s advocate (we all know it is my favorite role to play) so please take it all with a grain of salt.
Your Cousin David Ball.