Odds and ends

Congratulations to Mike Hughes!
Mike was elected an STC Fellow and also elected 2nd Vice President of the Society as a whole! He’s required to attend several formal ceremonies to officially receive these honors, so he bought a tux (very fetching) and wore it as MC of our chapter’s awards banquet. Look for pictures soon on the chapter’s blog.

Banquet wrap up
The Atlanta STC Awards Banquet and the New Media Awards contest have consumed a lot of my time over the last several weeks. The first was a success, but the second . . . well, that’s another blog post. Everyone was in good spirits Tuesday night. The room was about the right size for the crowd. The Maggiano’s staff did a good job helping us with setup and then stuffing us with multiple courses of yummy food.  Several students from Southern Polytechnic State U made the trip over from Marietta, including our scholarship winners. Mike did a good job as MC. You can read his opening monologue on his blog.

I’ve been polling the banquet attendees and the response is positive with a few suggestions on improvements for next year. Only one respondent complained about the food (and neglected to explain why).

Usability in a nutshell
Congratulations to Jakob Nielsen on his 25th anniversary in the usability field!
His alertbox posting this week provides a concise overview of usability: early history, growth, key components, etc.

Jargon isn’t always bad
I’ve been meaning to blog about this subject, but Shaun Kelly over at the Shoap Technical Services blog beat me to it; see In Defense of Jargon. I’ve attended several STC presentations on language that preached the standard never-use-jargon message. This blanket prohibition has always annoyed me.

If your audience understands the jargon, why not use it? As Shaun puts it, “It [jargon] increases the efficiency of communication between members of the community by cramming a whole lot of meaning into a small linguistic space. . . . And isn’t efficiency of communication a best practice that technical communicators should be leveraging?”

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