Re: A moment of editorial indecision

Subject: Re: A moment of editorial indecision
From: "Peggy Schillinger" <peggy -at- cms-stl -dot- com>
To: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 14:28:26 -0500

Dick Margulis wrote:

> When we describe charts produced by our software, I try to catch instances of "X axis" and "Y axis" and replace them with "horizontal axis" and "vertical axis" on the theory that anything that smacks of algebra is off-putting for a lot of folks. But it just occurred to me that the same folks who don't know which way is X and which way is Y may be just as confused about what horizontal and vertical mean. So maybe I should reconsider this. What do you think?

Although horizontal and vertical won't encourage mathphobia, it doesn't help matters much to label a vertical line as "vertical" and a horizontal line as "horizontal." Why don't you label the chart with the actual name of what you are measuring? Like "Sales" and "Quarter"? Or "Miles per Gallon" and "Vehicle Age"?

Just a thought. Best regards,

Peggy Schillinger

Peggy Schillinger
Principal Technical Writer
Computerized Medical Systems, Inc.
STC St. Louis Employment Referral Service Manager
peggy -at- cms-stl -dot- com 314-812-4315 fax: 314-993-0075

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