37 years ago today, America landed the Apollo 11 lunar module upon Earth's moon. For those of us old enough to remember this event we have that day permanently etched in our memories. On that date I was an almost 11 year old kid taking a summer clarinet class -- we interrupted our squeakings and honkings to watch the events unfold on a black and white television as they happened.
So, why am I saying all of this? Am I attempting to mark the occasion for some reason? Well, yes and no. Truly, in the course of human history man's landing on the moon was a big event. Talk about going where no man had gone before! Yet, I also realize that the vast number of people alive today have no recollection of the event. Figure that anyone under the age of 42 or 43 remembers nothing about the first moon landing. Subsequent landings perhaps, but maybe not the first one in 1969. Furthermore, we haven't been back to the moon in over 30 years. How many people alive today only know about these events via the history books?
Okay, I am no longer young but I haven't quite hit the jurassic era either. Still, when writing about events of long ago there is one thing that I must remind myself of regularly: don't assume that people know what you are talking about. This is true for whatever types of writings you do: spell out acronyms, expound your thoughts, and make it crystal clear to your readers what you are conveying. Your readership may be a lot younger, much less informed, or simply unable to grasp what you are trying to say. Give them background information even when it seems as if they should know what you are writing about.
Copyright 2006 ? For additional information regarding Matt Keegan, The Article Writer, please visit his blog for wit, quips, and freelance writing tips.