RE: Old thread, hopefully new spin on "allow" v. "enable."

Subject: RE: Old thread, hopefully new spin on "allow" v. "enable."
From: "Carnall, Jane" <Jane -dot- Carnall -at- compaq -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 09:46:49 -0000

>>I have used the word "allow" throughout my career as a tech-writers. And
I
really don't have a problem with it even now. But I am wondering if perhaps
"enable" is better when documenting software applications.<<

I agree that they have a similiar meaning, but I prefer "enable".

To me "allow" and "let" both sound too controlling: "we permit you to do
this". I think "enable" and "can" are better:

This program enables you to ...

You can use this program ....

This phrasing puts the user where they should feel they belong: in the
driver's seat. Whereas "This program allows you to ..." sounds like the user
is sitting in the passenger seat, firmly-strapped in, turning a toy steering
wheel and probably sucking a toy dummy.

Jane Carnall
Il brillig di Twas ed i toves slithy hanno fatto il gyre e gimble nel wabe.
Tutto il mimsy erano i borogroves ed il outgrabe di raths del mome.




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