Re: icon showing that something is banned or nonfunctioning

Subject: Re: icon showing that something is banned or nonfunctioning
From: "Richard G. Combs" <richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 09:24:59 -0700

S E Prigan wrote:

> How do you describe the icon/symbol showing that something is
> a circle with a slash through it (all superimposed over the thing that is
> banned or temporarily nonfunctioning). Is there an actual name for it?
> now I have only the wordiest way to describe it.

In conversations, I've used the term "circle-slash" (or "red circle-slash"),
and, in the appropriate context, I've never encountered anyone who failed to
understand the reference. Of course, that may just be the people I talk to;
know your audience. ;-)

Are you sure you *have* to actually name it? I think far too many tech
writers want to name parts of the user interface when they don't have to.
Your readers don't care that the two regions of the window are panes, that
the control is a combo box, not a drop-down box, etc.

For instance, instead of saying, "If X is the case, a circle-slash icon
appears," try "If X is the case, you can't foo," or " is unavailable."


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Voyant Technologies, Inc.
richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com
rgcombs -at- free-market -dot- net

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