A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Amusing Blunders  (link broken)

For fun, Asterisks.com shares some amusing blunders collected by editors.

Asterisks.com (1999). Humor>Language>Writing>Localization


The Benefits of a Job Well Done  (link broken)   (PDF)

A parable about the lives of a high-tech technical writing team. Ken puts his twenty-five years as a technical writer to good use in this fictional work about four people hired to write manuals for Xoom-tek. In the chapter excerpted, Ken takes a humorous look at RIFs and downsizings.

Wisman, Ken. TECHWR-L (2003). Humor>Documentation>Software


The Biggest Lies Heard by Technical Writers  (link broken)   (Word)

This list is the result of a thread started on the Techwr-l listserver group about the biggest lies we, as technical writers, hear on an almost weekly basis.

Documentia (2003). Humor>Writing>Technical Writing


Black Eyes  (link broken)

Humorous malapropisms taken from various popular locales.

Editorial Eye, The (1997). Humor>Writing


Boredom: The Secret of Tech Writing  (link broken)

Of course, it's not 100% all of the time boring. Just some of it, on a fairly regular but not intolerable basis. But boring all the same.

Higgins, Lisa. TECHWR-L (2000). Humor>Writing>Technical Writing


The Bumper Book of Technical Boobs  (link broken)   (PDF)

Humorous examples of accidental (and humorous) errors in technical descriptions. Most of the gems on the following pages were, thankfully, picked up at the editing stage. One or two slipped through into printed books; some didnÕt even get as far as first draft stage. We have wondered for a long time about the mentality of the people who write this sort of thing; now you, too, can sit at your desk and try to figure out what these technical authors (yes, they actually get paid for this!) and engineers are on, where they got it from and whether they will give you some.

Watson, Sophie. ISTC (2004). Humor>Writing>Technical Writing


Clients From Hell

A collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers.

Clients From Hell. Humor>Consulting>Web Design


The Comptoons

HCI Vistas presents cartoons that illustrate the interesting relationship between the human and computer.

Katre, Dinesh S. HCeye (2006). Humor>Computing>Human Computer Interaction


Review: Critique of Your PowerPoint Presentation Titled "Sales Forecast, Third Quarter."

The subtle downplaying of expectations only heightened the shock and amazement this tour de force eventually triggered in the minds of everyone lucky enough to view the production.

Brown, Ross. McSweeney's Internet Tendency (2009). Humor>Reviews>Presentations>Microsoft PowerPoint


A Day in the Life

If it's a good day, you arrive at work around seven o'clock, grateful for having missed the morning rush hour. Today's not a good day, so instead you crawl out from under the shakey shelf in your cubicle, glad that neither your cranky, obsolete computer nor the stale glass of Jolt cola fell on you during the night. Don't laugh; it's happened before, and putting yourself back together again cost you an hour of sleep you desperately needed. You smell the stench of cold pizza, and what's really appalling is that you're not sure whether it's coming from your shirt, your breath, or a hidden cache somewhere in the cubicle under piles of documentation someone left you to review. That's not your problem right now.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. TECHWR-L. Humor>Workplace



Dilbert, sometimes referred to as a 'patron saint of technical communicators,' represents a sort of workplace humor that often illuminates TC experiences. This website shows the past month's worth of episodes from the daily syndicated cartoon.

Adams, Scott. United Feature Syndicate. Humor>Workplace>Engineering


Do You Suffer from Grammar Obsessive Disorder?  (link broken)

We look at the symptoms of this scourge of professional communicators—and offer help on how you can cope with its virulent manifestations.

MyRaganTV (2009). Humor>Multimedia>Video>Grammar


Driving Over Jakob Nielsen

A web-based game, in which you master the usability issues of driving a Mack truck over well-known usability experts.

Urbanev.com (2000). Humor>Usability>Traveler Information>Games


Ducks  (link broken)   (Word)

Some people ask me about the frustrations and difficulties involved in the business of technical documentation. As a reply, I tell them this joke.

Documentia (2003). Humor>Documentation>Writing>Technical Writing


E-Mail, Acronyms, and Alphabet Soup  (link broken)

Emoticons have become pretty complex, now including ones like :-# [lips are sealed], :-& [tongue tied], or :-'' [pursing lips].

Ray, Deborah S. TECHWR-L (1998). Humor>Writing>Correspondence>Email


(e)Xpressive Markup Language?

Conveying the emotional tone of a Web page has, up until now, been impossible with HTML, and the XML standard fails to address this issue. As an interim solution, developers have proposed several new tags to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Geoff-Hart.com (1998). Humor>Computing>XML>Emotions


The Editor from Hell  (link broken)

This morning I woke up in a cold sweat -- which was odd, because I usually wake up in bed. In my dream, or rather nightmare, I was reviewing a manuscript that was due to be returned to a client that very morning. As I recalled the dream, I realized why I was sweating -- the manuscript had been edited by someone who combined the worst characteristics of every copy editor I'd ever known.

Mickle, Lee. Editorial Eye, The (1997). Humor>Writing>Editing


Engineering Terms in Plain English  (link broken)

Twenty terms from engineering writiting translated into the vernacular.

PlainLanguage.gov (2004). Humor>Writing>Engineering>Minimalism


Error Message Gallery

A collection of humourous error messages and dialogue boxes that you can add to by making your own.

Atom Smasher. Humor>User Interface>Help>Microsoft Windows


Font Conference

Some people are really creative and can take everyday ordinary things and turn them into something extraordinary. This is certainly the case with Streeter Seidell and Dan Gurewitch, the creators of Font Conference.

Seidell, Streeter and Dan Gurewitch. College Humor (2008). Humor>Typography


The Font Snob

Their logo is COPPERPLATE. We can't shop here.

PVP Online (2009). Humor>Typography>Fonts


God and the Technical Writer

A short play featuring the God of Software (played by the Product Manager) and the Technical Writer (played by a technical writer).

Elephant (2007). Humor>Writing>Technical Writing>Project Management


Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness

Welcome to my Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness. On this page, I list wacky, bizarre, surreal and otherwise strange examples of technical documentation, particularly illustration.

DarrenBarefoot (2003). Humor>TC>Technical Illustration>Localization


Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness

Lists wacky, bizarre, surreal and otherwise strange examples of technical documentation, particularly illustration. Has not been updated for a number of years.

Barefoot, Darren K. Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness (2005). Humor>Writing>Technical Illustration>Technical Writing



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