Re[2]: Writing: better or worse after years on the job?

Subject: Re[2]: Writing: better or worse after years on the job?
From: CHRISTINE ANAMEIER <CANAMEIE -at- email -dot- usps -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 12:42:26 -0400


>With my books I use the technical jargon and terms...
>for an example - I may use the term launch or taskbar or
>whatever...but I always explain the term I am using. Most
>all my books come with a glossary in the back of the book
>as well.

"Taskbar" I don't object to, since there's not a clear, simpler
alternative available... but for "launch" I would use "open" or
"start."

I first heard "launch the application" in a development department and
my first thought was, "Man, these guys sure have an inflated sense of
their own importance. This is a piece of software, not the space
shuttle."

If I use a slightly jargony term like Taskbar, I try to accompany it
with an illustration, at least the first time it appears. It's hard
enough to get users to read a manual, much less the glossary of a
manual--especially if the user's in the middle of a task and they're
looking for help. Their reaction to an unfamiliar term like "radio
button" won't be "I'd better brush up on my terminology; where's the
glossary..."--it'll be "Why can't they write this #$^&* thing in
English!"

Christine
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