RE: FAQs in User Guides

Subject: RE: FAQs in User Guides
From: "Geoff Lane" <geoff -at- gjctech -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 16:00:19 -0000

Scott Turner wrote:
> Ah, reminds me of a job writing for IBM, where the contact
> asked us not
> to use the word "invoke" (we were documenting a mainframe operating
> language), on religious grounds. Didn't want to offend people who
> associated invoke with invoking the devil.
> We said Ok, no problem, it is a high level latin word anyway.
> And then I pointed out that one could and many people
> regularly invoked
> the name of God in prayer.
> Just another case of ignorance overcoming common sense.

A similar thing happened to me. Canadian clients objected to one program
invoking another. Their editor replaced "invokes" with "summons", to which I
ROFL'd because, in English, "summons" is primarily used in a legal context
and means to require a person to attend a lawcourt (usually as the
defendant). Thus, the English "summons" roughly translates to the American
"subpoena". Secondary usages of "summon" are to call to a gathering, or to
call upon demons or spirits. We eventually agreed that one program may call
another (but I bet some list member has a valid objection to that!)

FWIW, I've used "invoke" in this context for over a decade and my Canadian
friends were the first to object.

Geoff Lane
Cornwall, UK
geoff -at- gjctech -dot- co -dot- uk

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