|CARNEGIE MELLON EVENT CALENDAR|
Ginny Redish: Plain Language and the Legacy of Erwin Steinberg
Apr 16, 2013
Professor Erwin R. Steinberg was one of the great pioneers of plain language and technical writing in the 20th century. From his earliest teaching and consulting to his long tenure at CMU, he advocated, encouraged, and taught clarity and a user focus in everything his students and his clients wrote. Come celebrate Professor Steinberg's life and accomplishments as Ginny Redish connects 20th century history with where technical writing and plain language are today. When Professor Steinberg helped to found the field, technical writing meant primarily that engineers brought clarity to their reports. That's still critical, of course. But over his long life, technical writing became much more. It became clear manuals for software and hardware, help in web applications that really helps, part of the greatly expanded field of human-computer interaction. It also became information design, content strategy, writing for the small mobile screen, and so on. In this talk, Ginny Redish will help us see the many roots of plain language in research from cognitive psychology, linguistics, rhetoric, and other fields. She will show us how Professor Steinberg's work helped shape the modern version of plain language to be research-based, defined by people's behavior not by a formula, and covering much more than short sentences and simple words.
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