From [email protected] Wed Apr  5 19:35:41 1995
Xref: rpi news.announce.newgroups:992 news.groups:23666 rec.arts.books:16206 sci.lang:6331
Newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups,news.groups,rec.arts.books,sci.lang
Path: rpi!bounce-back
From: [email protected] (L.A.Z. Smith)
Subject: RFD:  misc.writing
Followup-To: news.groups
Keywords: writing technical communication grammar words
Sender: [email protected]
Organization: R. H. E. Smith Corp., Wheeling, IL
Date: 28 Mar 91 04:32:21 GMT
Approved: [email protected]
Lines: 113

This is the first Request for Discussion, prior to a formal Call 
for Votes, for misc.writing.  Please follow up to to news.groups only.

Misc.writing is a forum for discussion of writing in all its forms --
scholarly, technical, journalistic, artistic and mere day-to-day 
communication.  It is a venue for professional writers, would-be 
professionals, dilettantes and all those who use the written
form of communication.

Misc.writing is primarily about writing in English.  As such, it
includes consideration of linguistics, grammar and style as they relate 
to composition.  It is not, however, limited to discussion of writing for
print -- topics may include a variety of other media and means of

In addition to discussion about the process of writing, misc.writing
also addresses writing as a trade, including (but not limited to) reviews 
of books about writing; notices of workshops and writers' group meetings;
and information about publishing.  Tools for writing may be a topic, as

Questions about how to write, writing problems and how to improve one's
writing are welcome, but long excerpts of written works are discouraged.
Although the group is general in nature, misc.writing welcomes discussions 
about specific forms of writing; contributors are encouraged to identify
their topic by including tags such as "TECHNICAL:" or "JOURNALISM:" in 
subject lines.

Such guidelines shall be enforced by peer pressure only.  Misc.writing is an
unmoderated newsgroup, in order to give the writers a break from editors
for a change.

Almost everyone writes -- if not books and articles, then memos to
colleagues or letters to mother.  Writing is critical to most 
professionals' jobs, whether it be the major part of their work or 
simply the documentation of it.  
At present, there is no group for general discussion of writing.
Related discussions therefore tend to be all over the net, with sci.lang
and rec.arts.books taking the brunt of them.  The latter, as its
regulars should agree, is already large enough without this traffic.

Two groups on the, alt.prose and alt.prose.d exist, but they are
devoted to fiction and were, according to one of the founders, "created 
primarily to allow writers to have their works of fiction (or non-fiction, 
but the emphasis has always been on the former) read and critiqued
(in the .d group) by their fellow writers."

Posting of written works will be discouraged in misc.writing, where the
emphasis will be discussions of the process of writing.  While everyone
who writes in any capacity is welcome, the primary focus is on those who
do it for a living -- on this network, that means mainly journalists and
technical writers.

Various groups in the comp hierarchy discuss aspects of technical
communication, but apparently do not adequately provide a forum for the
many technical writers on the net.  A Call For Discussion of a group
especially for technical writing,, has been posted, but
the poster has agreed to hold off on voting until after some discussion
of misc.writing appears, with the possibility of merging the two

The creation of misc.writing is intended to be the beginning of a
hierarchy.  If traffic justifies it, further groups could be proposed,
along the the lines of:

misc.writing.biff, etc.

Among other things, this Call for Discussion is to determine whether we
can begin with just the one group, misc.writing, as is usually preferred
when creating new groups, or whether we should at the same time
create misc.writing.technical or one or more of the other groups.

Because there is no other good fit.  The rec.arts hierarchy is out
because of the professional leaning of the proposed group.  It's
difficult to make a case for writing as a science, and "sci.writing"
would in any case have the effect of misleading people into thinking it
was for writing about science.

Post your comments to news.groups.  You may also send e-mail to me at the
address below.  Please be sure to comment on whether you think you can
peacefully coexist with other kinds of writers in a single newsgroup,
misc.writing, or whether you must have your own specialty group right
>from the outset.   Depending on the discussion, I will either put
forward a Call for Votes or a revised charter or both.

Almost everyone writes, for one reason or another, and a common ground
for discussion of the process and its peculiarities is greatly needed on
the net.  Even the best of professionals can benefit from others' tips,
and those for whom writing is a necessary chore can find help from those
who do it constantly.

And if misc.writing turns out to be a means for improving the general
quality of writing on the net, all the better.  Let's consider it.
L.A.Z. Smith                       [email protected]
Wheeling, Illinois                 leah%[email protected]
(If the above don't work, send mail to: [email protected])

cat misc.writing