RE: Pointing a browser

Subject: RE: Pointing a browser
From: Joanne Meehl <Jmeehl -at- datum -dot- com>
To: "'Robert Spencer'" <rob -at- pureedge -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 09:59:25 -0500

You touched a nerve on this one!

In my opinion, "point your browser" gets the Stupid Phrase of the Eon Award.
It drives me up a wall. The phrase makes using the Internet sound like
you're playing with a ouija board. I can't tell you how many users,
especially beginners, have said to me "What is 'point'? I was actually
looking for some sort of pointer. Jeesh, why don't they just say 'go to ___
on the web' ?" As writing professionals, we are the "they" who can kill such
empty and confusing collections of words. There. Now I feel better.

I think "open the __ page" is only slightly better. While yes, we are
actually asking the user to open a page on the web, most users would more
readily understand "On the Web, go to ___", or if you prefer, "On the
Internet, go to ___." Not elegant, but simple. I like Daniel's suggestion
of "navigate", too, and it's more elegant.

I know it's heresy to say this, but I love being a heretic: sometimes being
literal and specific is not as helpful as being "big picture" and simple.


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