Re: Another Subjective View

Subject: Re: Another Subjective View
From: bartelmm -at- appliedbiosystems -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2002 11:48:30 -0700


Tom Green wrote:
<Yes, I have another one that has become quite bothersome only because I
have seen it in a lot of documentation recently and am wondering if my
adversion to it is only a personal preference or am I right to want it
changed?

The suspect is the use of "Once" as opposed to "When."

Here's an example..."Once the thigamagig is installed...blah, blah,

blah."

I prefer to use "When the thigamagig is installed...blah, blah,

blah." Which is right? or are both right?

The accepted term around here (oil and gas) is "Once.">

I say:

IMHO, "Once" is not good in this example. "Once" has several meanings and
a user can trip up when he encounters this word. The first definition is
"one time" or "one iteration" and that is the only way I use it. Because
there are other words ("when" or "after") for the other meanings, and
"when" and "after" would be clearer than "once" in your example ("After the
thigamagig is installed ..."), I would not use "once."

This is a good example of controlled language (stitch).

Many of my users do not speak English as their first language, so I need to
be particularly careful about using words that have several meanings or
could otherwise be confusing.

Mary B.


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