Swet Columns

Yes, We Can Learn from Experience

by John L. McCreery

Report of January 11 meeting, Larry Brouhard presentation. Lessons from a long career in technical documentation: Omit unnecessary words. Follow William K. Zinsser’s advice in On Writing Well, “There is no sentence too short in the eyes of God.”


Like all great teachers, Larry Brouhard is also a great performer, with a gift for... more

Steering Committee Report

Although many SWET operating decisions are discussed and made entirely online, the Steering Committee does meet from time to review policy and to firm up implementation.


The SWET Steering Committee (SC) met on February 9, 2003. Hugh Ashton, Becky Davis, Phil Ono, Bob Poulson, Lynne Riggs, Doreen Simmons, Fred Uleman, and Cynthia Yenches attended. A number of... more

Bridge-building Books

by Doreen Simmons

“Building bridges between cultures” has been a safe subject for talks and textbooks for many years; how far is an outsider justified in interfering with work in progress? Our pensive old tabby weighs the pros and cons.


Dear Aunt Eva,

I’ve been asked by a publisher friend to give an opinion on a supplementary textbook, the... more

Finding a Job vs. Finding Work

by Fred Uleman

Creating You & Co by William Bridges reminds me of the old adage that, “within every fat man is a thin man trying to get out.” There is a slender book in here that is well worth reading, but you will have to cut through a lot of fat to get at it. So let me give you... more

“Bill Me for Everything” Change

by Doreen Simmons

When one party to an old relationship of trust suddenly wants to put it entirely on a businesslike footing, what’s really afoot? Well-balanced Aunt Eva, who likes a bit of friendly give-and-take herself, advises treading warily on this one.


Dear Aunt Eva,

I have a niggling little problem and would welcome a second opinion.

I have a... more

Translation Software Problems

by Doreen Simmons

Open-minded Aunt Eva is no Luddite, but it has been increasingly coming to her attention that there is an awesome potential for error in the interface between technology and the human beings who are trying to use it. Here, she takes a realistic look at some of the pitfalls in relying too heavily on software that promises the... more