TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: It did happen on a Friday... From:eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com To:Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com> Date:Tue, 24 Feb 2004 11:17:16 -0500
Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com> wrote on 02/24/2004 10:44:10 AM:
> I like Diane's suggestion of "primary" and "secondary."
But that suggestion is/may be incorrect. Unless the master is determined
at start-up and if the master is lost, a new master is selected. Then
perhaps a slave could be referred to as a secondary. But even then,
secondary suggests some autonomy or decision making capability and does
not implicate the total subservience usually required by a slave. In my
experience, a secondary device has usually referred to a redundant device
that is used only in the event the primary fails.
Seeing as master and slave are both perfectly reasonable words and have
various acceptable uses (regardless of whether the act they are describing
is acceptable or not), it seems pointless to confuse readers who should be
able to recognise and distinguish technical nomenclature from support of
kidnapping/indenturing human workers.
And as far as other leader/follower analogies, I think some people are a
little too sensitive. If it's being used in the context of reflecting the
structure why is it offensive? Why is Chief/Indian more offensive than
Captain/Private or Officer/Soldier or Manager/Worker or Coach/Player or
Next thing you know we'll be having trouble with words like niggardly. :P