Re: Functionality - Alternatives

Subject: Re: Functionality - Alternatives
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: wcass -at- iontrading -dot- com
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2004 06:28:04 -0500

wcass -at- iontrading -dot- com wrote:

I have read the discussions about functionality vs. function, but what I
am really looking for are alternatives for these words. Personally, I
abhor functionality. I can live with function most of the time. However,
it would be nice to have some alternatives up my sleeve.

I have seen the capability suggested and I have also used feature when it
fits. Has anyone any other suggested alternatives?



Will,

Generally you can recast the sentence to make the actor the subject, entirely eliminating the need for _functionality_ or a synonym.

Examples:

The search tool finds documents matching your search criteria. The order entry page lets you add free text delivery instructions in addition to basic quantity and item information. The audit historian maintains a record of customer address changes by date.

Or, in a different context:

Use the search tool to find documents. You can add free text delivery instructions on the order entry page. When you change a customer address, the audit historian keeps a record of the old address for you.

Not:

The functionality of the search tool is to enable the system to find documents matching your search criteria. The functionality of the order entry page is to let you add free text . . . .

In other words, say what the thing does, or say how it helps the user. The system doesn't have a lot of functionality; it does a lot of things. That's a much better message.

Dick

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