Swet Columns

Ghost-writing vs Over-editing

by Doreen Simmons

Ghostwriting is a special form of the writer’s craft. It often takes time for an author even to find his or her own voice; but the ghostwriter has to assume the persona of someone else. Novelists and dramatists are free to invent the characters and the content of what they say; but the ghostwriter has to take someone... more

No More than Necessary

by Doreen Simmons

Aunt Eva shows us how to work around the pitfalls of working with someone who seems bent on giving you more than you need.


Dear Aunt Eva,

There’s this translator our agency uses. He’s been with the agency a long time, since before I joined several years ago. He translates accurately, but his writing style is... more

Unwarranted Confidence

by Doreen Simmons

It may seem amazing that some people think a casual hunt in a pocket-size Japanese-English dictionary will produce the same result as informed knowledge, but they do.


Dear Aunt Eva,

I specialize in producing art catalogues. Important clients think so, anyway. I have, however, had an adverse experience: I worked on an art catalogue with a... more

Kanji Core Meanings, Software Lexicons

by Lynne E. Riggs

Launching “SWET on Saturdays,” Jack Halpern told how one student of Japanese wound up creating a Japanese-English character dictionary and massive Chinese, Japanese, and Korean lexical databases now used to aid Internet search engines.

Starting with an encounter with a Japanese language textbook on an Israeli kibbutz, the story of how one man’s fascination... more

Yes, We Can Learn from Experience

by John L. McCreery

Report of January 11 meeting, Larry Brouhard presentation. Lessons from a long career in technical documentation: Omit unnecessary words. Follow William K. Zinsser’s advice in On Writing Well, “There is no sentence too short in the eyes of God.”


Like all great teachers, Larry Brouhard is also a great performer, with a gift for... more

Steering Committee Report

Although many SWET operating decisions are discussed and made entirely online, the Steering Committee does meet from time to review policy and to firm up implementation.


The SWET Steering Committee (SC) met on February 9, 2003. Hugh Ashton, Becky Davis, Phil Ono, Bob Poulson, Lynne Riggs, Doreen Simmons, Fred Uleman, and Cynthia Yenches attended. A number of... more