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Edgar D' Souza wrote:
>> According to IBM style: WIndows open or close, they do not appear or
>> display, nor are they dismissed or exited.
> What about dialog boxes (some call them message boxes), especially
> error messages? What verb is appropriate for those?
> I currently use "pop up"/"pops up" but I feel I'm on the verge of
> learning a better term.. :-)
One of these days we'll stop agonizing over "display", "appear",
"click", "dialog box", etc. and simply assume the user has seen a
dialog box before and can operate a mouse and keyboard, or she
wouldn't have gotten this far.
"The program will *ask* if you want to continue. *Answer* yes."
I'll bet "ask" and "answer" translate easily into Klingon. Or from
The trick here is to allow the product to be an actor in the
process, and give it a consistent name: "the program", "the
system", "EZ-Scrambler", whatever -- then speak plainly.
I dunno why we haven't done this all along. Partly it's residual
geekery, I suppose, or a preference for twenty words over ten.
Another explanation is that there's often competition for the user's
affection between the product and its parent company.
There are two entities in the operation: the user and EZ-Scrambler.
Nobody else is there. These two can speak plainly with each other.
Yet a third actor, Datawhack Systems, keeps elbowing its way on
stage, stealing focus. "Don't forget me. I'm your daddy. Your
relationship is with me, not that 'thing'."
The result is tortured voice, an uncle who helps too much, and,
finally, too many words. In my opinion, user benefit starts
diminishing one syllable beyond "ask" and "answer".
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