RE: Word choice (was: Display or appear (Was: Can "either" be use d ... ))

Subject: RE: Word choice (was: Display or appear (Was: Can "either" be use d ... ))
From: "Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 09:08:24 -0400

And when you google, do the SME's display or appear? :)

Running off to google before my boss appears at my desk.
Connie Giordano

-----Original Message-----
From: Jane Carnall [mailto:jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 8:17 AM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: Word choice (was: Display or appear (Was: Can "either" be used
... ))


Jennifer Carey wrote: << keep in mind *who* the inventors of much of today's
"standard" terminology were (and then tell *me* who they were). "Standard"
doesn't always mean "clear", "understandable" or "specific". -- Sometimes
"standard" is *so* standard that its meaning is transparent (take "mouse"
for example), sometimes it even makes sense, other times, I swear it was
pulled out of somebody's--um--head, to sound official, important and/or
technical.>>

Well said, Jennifer! And on that note (since I don't care whether a screen
displays, appears, or uses the transporter) how do other technical writers
decide what's unacceptably-jargony and what's the new standard usage?

I have this problem every time I move into a new field. All around me the
SMEs are using their own jargon.

[SNIP]

What I do: I google on the phrase to find out if it's in current use, and if
so, where. I ask the SMEs. I look it up in technical documentation. I ask
this list. Sometimes I ask the copyeditor's list. But there's always a
valuable week or two during which I am in a state of complete bewilderment
and misunderstanding: and I've found that taking many, many notes during
those ten days of confusion is one of the best ways of figuring out later
what words need to go into the glossary at the back and what don't.



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