When I was starting out in technical writing it was common to define terms such as CPU, MHz, and RAM, whether in-line or in a glossary. As such high technology became more mainstream, it was no longer necessary for most audiences. MHz and RAM seem to be understood by most of the general public. Indeed most non-technical readers can comparison-shop for a new phone or camera using these technical specifications.
But other industries are newer to the mainstream. For example, many of us learned new financial and business terms when our banks were bailed out and our 401Ks evaporated. Suddenly many writers needed to cover new topics, with new terminology that wasn’t familiar to their audiences.
Enter The Financial Writer’s Stylebook by Chris Roush and Bill Cloud. The book features definitions for 1100 terms, plus information on legal issues specific to financial and business reporting.
Such a style guide should help writers who are new to financial topics — or whose audiences are. As Bill Cloud says on the American Copy Editors Society website, “There are fewer dedicated business copy editors. The confidence level it gives, whether to define something or not — I think that’s important.”
The book will be available in November.