Re. Word choice: search criteria?

Subject: Re. Word choice: search criteria?
From: Geoff Hart <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 09:28:08 -0500

Kari Gulbrandsen Andres does not like <<...using the term 'search criteria'
in the following sentence. Can anybody offer me any suggestions? "Use the
compound name in conjunction with a local operator (Not, Contains/Exactly)
to establish search criteria. The entries that are retrieved must match
your search criteria.">>

I'm not sure why you don't like this, since it's probably comprehensible to
most audiences (and particularly to a technical audience). Given that the
sentence includes terms like "compound name" and "local operator", neither
of which are immediately familiar to me, I'd suggest that if your audience
is fairly technical; if they can understand such terms, they can certainly
understand "search criteria". If you feel that the audience is highly
nontechnical, you need more editing of the sentence than just replacing
"search criteria". Among other things, "must" is very unclear to me. I'd
propose something like the following (if I've understood the sentences

"Use a combination of the words words you're seeking plus terms such as
"Not", "Contains", and "Exactly" to further restrict what you're looking
for. The entries that you retrieve will match your restrictions."

--Geoff Hart, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"The paperless office will arrive when the paperless toilet
arrives."--Matthew Stevens

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