You Know You’re a Technical Communicator When…

Originally written by Marcia Riefer Johnston

…people talk about their jobs in user experience, information architecture, content strategy, project management, business analysis, content marketing, knowledge-base management, or information mapping, and you say, “Yelp. Been doing that for years.”

…somebody shows you the latest tech toy—software, hardware, vaporware, any ware—and you go pant, pant, pant.

…you’re the one who thought, wouldn’t it be cool to put web and log together and make a new word: b-l-o-g.

…you suggest the new edition of The Chicago Manual of Style to your book group.

…somebody tells you that you can stop asking questions now, and you say, “Why?”

…you keep rearranging the cans in your pantry: red labels together, vegetables together, big cans together, big cans of vegetables with red labels together.

…before hypertext was invented, you scribbled in your books: hey, this connects to this, and that connects to that and that and that.

…you touched the pictures in Reader’s Digest and expected something to happen.

…as a kid at breakfast, you arranged your Alpha-Bits into acronyms: XML, SQL, TLA.

…the neighborhood kids put on a play, you wrote the script. And gave it plenty of white space.

…the neighborhood kids played Kick the Can, you wondered how to hyphenate olly-olly-in-come-free.

…for years you used WYSIWYG in every sentence. It’s still your favorite word.

…you tell the SMEs what the acronyms mean.

…you forget that SME is an acronym.

…your notes to Santa included steps. And substeps. 1. Eat the cookie. a. Lower your arm to the plate. b. Grasp the cookie by its edge.

…you never got why people laughed at dogs chasing their tails.

…you saw a Highlights magazine, you flipped to “Find the Differences.” If the pictures had 14 differences, you found 15.

…your favorite Sesame Street song was “One of These Things Is Not Like the Other.”

…right now, you’re humming, “one of these things just doesn’t belong.”

…your friend’s Facebook post grabs your interest because she filtered it to men and women in your area. How did she do that? You have to know.

…you put angle brackets around the items on your grocery list.

…you believe that information is power, which explains the red cape.

…you first met the people in your workgroup through Skype.

…you still haven’t met the people in your workgroup face to face.

…you think of walking to the bathroom as exercise.

…all through school, you were the kid everyone asked, “What did that mean?” Even the teacher.

…you think that you have the best job in the world.