RE: RE : RE: Your thoughts on punctuation?

Subject: RE: RE : RE: Your thoughts on punctuation?
From: "Ladonna Weeks" <ladonna -dot- weeks -at- comtrak -dot- com>
To: "'Andrew Warren'" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>, "'Yves JEAUROND'" <jingting -at- rogers -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 15:28:43 -0500

See comments below...

Ladonna Weeks
ladonna -dot- weeks -at- comtrak -dot- com
cell: 314-210-1652

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Warren [mailto:awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 3:10 PM
To: Yves JEAUROND; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Cc: Ladonna Weeks
Subject: RE: RE : RE: Your thoughts on punctuation?

Yves JEAUROND wrote:

> Typographical wisdom dictates that using ALL CAPS does mislead
> on messages of the same length, especially short ones.
> There are exceptions: the display may be too small or badly
> for CAPS/no caps to make a difference. You'll have to judge the

> usability.

Yes, this is definitely an exceptional case in which
conventions for documents don't apply. Ms. Weeks' 4x20
display is undoubtedly composed of low-resolution (5x8-pixel
or so)
dot-matrix characters, and it probably doesn't even show
letters with descenders.

Actually, the keypad displays case differences pretty well, and
uses descenders. My problem with that is that the programmers
want to start every word with a capital, which is another battle
I'm trying to fight. For example, is "server" supposed to be a
proper noun? Most people here seem to think it is.

For a display like that, it's been my experience that all
caps is
generally more readable than mixed case.

Also, it's frequently difficult on such a small display to
a heading from the text beneath it -- with only 4 lines of 20
characters each, there's often no room for blank lines or
punctuation between phrases -- so differences in
capitalization can
be used to make the distinction.

> For politeness, a period is cool.
> "Please wait."
> Tell your engineers gently about customer etiquette, manners,
> grammar and syntax. :-) And how rude customers find it when
these are
> ignored.

Yes, but I think this display really is more like a sign than
a document or even a dialog box. If it were larger and had a
more delicately-formed font, lowercase and full sentences
punctuation might look really nice, but I don't think the
by 20-character, 5x8-dot format allows for those niceties.

The big diamond-shaped roadside sign that says:


would be harder to read if it were in a smaller font that

traffic, please
merge to the


This is an interesting example. Thanks. I'm still on the fence as
to whether our keypad instructions are more like dialog boxes or
more like signs. They do sometimes contain menus of options and
the user has to press a number followed by an ENTER button to
select from the list.


=== Andrew Warren - awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com === Synaptics, Inc -
Santa Clara, CA


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RE: RE : RE: Your thoughts on punctuation?: From: Andrew Warren

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