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  1. camilla peffer wrote on

    Great post Glen!
    I work as a copywriter for an IT company (well…for another week at least. Then I’m off to enter the fashion industry!)
    I’ve found that highly technical language is incredibly tricky to dumb down. One of the greatest tricks I’ve learned is to hop on to Whirpool and look at what everyone’s pain points are. For example, if I’m writing about Microsoft Exchange, I can hop on the forums and find out that people want email that’s reliable.
    I’ve also heard that reading Amazon reviews can be helpful too.

    Just curious, but as a technical writer, how did you manage dealing with legal departments? I find that they have a tendency to want to make my copy sound more “professional”. And by “professional” I mean robotic and boring and convoluted, with a billion qualifying statements and unsightly asterisks!

    1. Glenn Murray wrote on

      Hi Camilla. Great suggestion (Whirlpool)! I’ll keep that one in mind, in future. And Amazon.

      Re your question about legal departments, I never actually had that problem when I was a technical writer. Had it a few times as a copywriter, though. For instance, when writing about the Toyota Camry, I wrote “extremely fuel efficient” and the legal department told me I wasn’t allowed to say that, but I could say “very fuel efficient”… :-\

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