The Quill - Southwestern Ontario Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication's monthly newsletter
SEPTEMBER 2005 (Volume 17 Number 1) About the Quill

In This Issue

President's Message

Debbie Kerr is enthusiastic about her new role as Chapter President, and issues a challenge to all chapter members to try something new. You know you're a technical communicator when... Click to read the Quill Article

General Meeting Announcements

It's the start of the STC season, and we have a full plate again this year and lots of fun in store. Read about what we have planned for September and October... Click to read the Quill Article

Council Meeting Minutes

Speaking of the new year, the council is already busy planning for the year ahead. Read about what the council discussed at their meeting in August, and learn a few things you maybe didn't want to know. Click to read the Quill Article

Evolution of an Editor: From Quill to Quarry to Qantas

Patrick Hofmann, Quill editor from issues past and legendary local graphics guru, takes us through his evolution from editor to author and all the stops in between—what a ride! Click to read the Quill Article

Director Sponsor's Message: The Seasons and the STC are a Changin'

Cindy Currie, new Director Sponsor of Region 1, reflects on the recent changes to the STC executive, her immediate goals, and the focus areas for the STC board over the next year. Welcome Cindy! Click to read the Quill Article

Freelance 101: Chronicles for the Self-Employed

Need some tips on networking? Want the inside track on making yourself known and building a contracting business? Take it from Leanne, she knows... Click to read the Quill Article

Council Spotlight: Student Awards & Volunteer Coordinator

Interested in volunteering on the council? Don't know what's involved? This council spotlight focuses on Student Awards and Volunteering. Click to read the Quill Article

Membership Update

Leanne Rollins, Membership Manager, welcomes the new members to our chapter and shares her objectives for the year.Click to read the Quill Article

Information Architecture and Content Management

Ann Rockley provides a primer for understanding information architecture as it relates to content management (CM), including detailed descriptions of the building blocks required for success in CM. Click to read the Quill Article

View from the Other Side: What I Did on My Summer Holidays...

She's least from her many travels over the summer and a break from hearing what is going on in England or at least the other side of the globe. Click to read the Quill Article

Launch of the STC Training Program

Choose from five different two-day courses in the kickoff session for a new STC Training Program in October—there's something for everyone! Click to read the Quill Article

Message from the Editor

Welcome to the new STC year, and my first issue as The Quill editor (gulp). I only hope I can measure up to the phenomenal job of those who came before me—Debbie, Andrea, Patrick, Lisa, phew...I'll try not to let you down. Really.

Best of Breed?

Right out of the gate, let me be perfectly honest—you can't do any better than the STC Best of Show award. You just can't.

Instead, you can blaze your own trail and hope that the path is interesting and enlightening enough for others to follow. Along the way, my hope is to have fun, learn, and inspire you as writers and human beings.

My aspiration for this year is to bring my own perspective and style to The Quill. I know that makes those of you that know me very nervous, but I promise to keep the very pink sneakers (flyers!) in the closet—for now. However, the very yellow smiley shoelaces are coming out. You've been warned.

How many writers does it take to...

But I can't do this without all of you—you (my contributors or yet-to-be contributors) provide the substance and voice for each issue, and I have the privilege of working that material into a newsletter that I sincerely hope you will get something out of each please keep those ideas and articles coming.

Heard a good technical writer joke? Want to vent about Word? Have a success you want to share? Tried out some nifty new tool that made your job easier? Discovered a cool website that is a plethora of information? Don't like the word “plethora”? Think you can do better? Go ahead, email me (Margie) at I look forward to hearing from you!

To print the entire Quill, click here!

Term of the Month: Buzzword Salad

Definition: Using a multitude of trendy terms or phrases to obscure meaning.


“I utilized a multitined tool to process a starch resource.”*
Or I used my fork to eat a potato.

“Existing is being unique. Existence, reality, essence, cause, or truth is uniqueness. The geometric point in the center of the sphere is nature’s symbol of the immeasurable uniqueness within its measurable effect. A center is always unique; otherwise it would not be a center. Because uniqueness is reality, or that which makes a thing what it is, everything that is real is based on a centralization.”*
Or I think, therefore I am.

Order up!

*Examples courtesy of “The Dilbert Principle” by Scott Adams and an unknown philosophy student.

Creating and supporting a forum for communities of practice in the profession of technical communication