New Words for the New Millennium

Update: As a I pride myself on being conscientious technical writer, I have incorporated the suggestions in the comments section for changes and additions to the list of new words.

I have commented before on attempts to drag Sun's technical writers, sometimes kicking and screaming, into the new millennium.

Users of Sun products might already be aware of this attempt, as Sun starts to supplement more traditional forms of documentation with bite-sized chunks of information into which writers have put their personalities.

I was discussing these developments the other day with another writer when I found myself unaccountably and uncontrollably uttering the following new word:

blarticle
(n.) Bite-sized chunk of information, usually written in a personal style.

Having coined this word, I realized that the English language might also benefit from a few more of additions:

blart
(v.) To post a blarticle abruptly and impulsively — usually used with out. Contrast with blarticulate.

Sample usage: I couldn't bottle it up any longer, so I just blarted it out.

blarticulate
(v.) To post a blarticle thoughtfully and after careful consideration. Contrast with blart.
blartist
(n.) Person who posts a blarticle. Archaic: technical writer of the new millennium. See also customer and user.
blemoan
(v.) To regret posting a blarticle.
bliki
(n.) A blarticle that is delivered in a format that anybody can edit.
Comments:

Given the definition of "blart," you might want to add an adverb to "blarticle": "Bite-sized chunk of information, usually written in a personal style, often impulsively"

And as a corollary, should we also have "blemoan - To regret posting a blarticle"? :->

Posted by JaniceG on September 20, 2007 at 12:23 PM PDT #

I bet there are just as many tech writers running along side of you as there are kickers and screamers. As far as I know there are gratefully no kickers or screamers in my neck of the woods. But thanks for the new term. I am trying to become a blarter but it is hard as I have spent the last 10 years mastering the depersonalized style that our editorial guidelines tell us to use.

Posted by guest on September 20, 2007 at 12:31 PM PDT #

And are tech writers of the new millenium "blartists"?

Posted by Sue Weber on September 20, 2007 at 02:11 PM PDT #

JaniceG, you wouldn't be an editor by any chance, would you?

From your proposed change to the definition of "blarticle", I realized that "blart" needs a counterpoint to denote the thoughtful, considered posting of a blarticle - "blarticulate" perhaps? And yes, we should also have "blemoan".

To the person who commented anonymously: I was actually the one who started the kicking and screaming (so to speak) with my initial response to the suggestion to put ourselves on YouTube.

My experience of Sun's editorial style guide as both user and contributor is that it advocates less a "depersonalized" style than a second-person style. From a chat I had with a member of Sun's media arts group, I got the impression that this style is very well suited to one of the new information types that Sun's technical writers are being encouraged to produce, namely screencasts.

Sue, as more and more documentation is supplied as blikis, I suspect that the tech writers of the new millennium will be "customers" or maybe, in the world of free open-source software, "users".

Posted by Paul Davies on September 21, 2007 at 01:58 AM PDT #

For clarity, might want to add the word "impulsively" to the definition of "blemoan" ("To regret impulsively posting a blarticle")

\*\*\* I realized that "blart" needs a counterpoint to denote the thoughtful, considered posting of a blarticle - "blarticulate" perhaps \*\*\*

Not sure about this one... I know that I, for example, can be both articulate and impulsive at the same time :-> (Reaching here... "blassemble"?)

Posted by JaniceG on September 24, 2007 at 06:18 PM PDT #

Old blog but interesting discussion of the new and the old Technical Writer. How would we be classified?

Posted by intechs.com on May 20, 2008 at 12:54 PM PDT #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.
About

pauldavies

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today