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Binti: Home (Binti, book 2) by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti: Home (Binti, book 2) by Nnedi Okorafor

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One of my colleagues has recently retired. This is a real shame for me, because I ran every instruction document I wrote past her; she had an extraordinary ability to pick up every ambiguity and interpret it the wrong way. I can only hope I've learned to spot them myself now.

I recall reading a story about electronics development in the dark ages: one company's engineers had realized that while they weren't user interface experts, by the same token the girls from the typing pool weren't electronics engineers. (This was so long ago that there was a typing pool and it contained 'girls.') So after building a prototype they'd call in a secretary to use it, thereby discovering what they'd done that was obvious to engineers but not normal humans. Apparently they only got about three gadgets out of any given secretary before she'd catch on and get too skillful at translating Engineer into Human.

We are translating all our documents from Engineereese to Simplified Technical English. It's a structured approach to instructions that forces engineers to write in clear, unambiguous sentences. Unfortunately, it was made necessary after several plane crashes.

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