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

Subject: Re: Old thread, hopefully new spin on "allow" v. "enable."
From: Nora Merhar <nmerhar -at- charlesindustries -dot- com>
To: "Carnall, Jane" <Jane -dot- Carnall -at- compaq -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2000 08:36:39 -0600

I'll admit to not following this thread too closely, so what I'm about to say
may already have been said, but I haven't seen it yet.

I dislike allow, enable, etc., and always try to cast the sentence as "Use this
program to...". It's short, it's clear, and it avoids passive voice.

Senior Technical Writer, Charles Industries, Ltd.
nmerhar -at- charlesindustries -dot- com

> 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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