RE: Microsoft Manual of Style (was log on to NOT login)

Subject: RE: Microsoft Manual of Style (was log on to NOT login)
From: Tom Eagles <teagles -at- DERIVION -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L (E-mail)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 10:10:42 -0400

In answer to the question of whether he subscribes to the MS Manual of
Style, John Wilcox (of the TECHWR-L mailing list) responded:

> Only when I agree with it. In this case, I don't.
> I've used "log in" and "log out" for 14 years. <snip>
> the MS manual was written five years ago, so maybe it's
> just not up with current conventions.

I agree with John that you can't use style manuals as gospel to be adhered
to "no matter what." I think they are exactly what the title suggests: a

FWIW, my experience with log in/out log on/off is that you "log on" to a
"network" (Are you ON the network? Yes. Are you IN the network? No.), but
you "log in" to a "system." So if it's a software app that requires a
username (or User ID, if you prefer that convention) and password, it's
"logging in" that you do; if it's a network environment (NT, UNIX, etc),
it's "logging on" that you do. If you are referring to a password for our
software that applies to the "login procedure," then it's a "login password"
(adjectival application of the word in both of the previous instances),
similar to what MS suggests with "logon password" for network use. If you
think of the words in terms of how they are used in everyday language, it
makes more sense than simply applying them according to the suggested usage
by a possibly out-dated manual of style. I have Version 3 of the MS Manual
of Style, published in 1998. Version 3 still says what Tara's version
recommends (same version?), and I still disagree with its global application
of "log on/off."

I hope that was useful. ;-) This sort of thing is currently a matter for
discussion at my workplace.

Tom Eagles,
Documentation Manager
Derivion Corporation
100-65 Allstate Parkway
Markham, Ontario L3R-9X1
905-947-9730 ext.252
FAX: 905-947-9744
MAILTO:teagles -at- derivion -dot- com

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