Old Wine, New Jar

I have a freelance gig as a technical writer. The subject — energy-efficiency technology — is something about which my knowledge is minimal. Fortunately, most of the work I do is like a 7th grade English grammar assignment:

Rewrite this paragraph, replacing passive construction with active construction whenever possible.
Liven up this passage by using strong verbs instead of noun strings.
Identify and cut redundant adjectives.

Another data point in the case against credentialism. This work is easy for me because a) I have a knack (It’s too mundane for me to call it a “talent.”) for language that probably can’t be taught, and b) I have a solid base in grammar school grammar. So why did my ability to compete for the job depend so much on a college degree from a big-name school and years upon years of work experience? And why is this company, like many others, so willing to spend money paying the person whose work I’m re-doing — a person who presumably looked good on paper but lacked either the knack or the right training.

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