RE : Your thoughts on punctuation?

Subject: RE : Your thoughts on punctuation?
From: Yves JEAUROND <jingting -at- rogers -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 08:23:46 -0400 (EDT)

Hi Ladonna,

Punctuation aside, you may want to throw a bigger ball
at the engineers: confusing English (sic :-), jargon, non-English statements...
(1) Make statements that aren't ambiguous.
"Calling server" can make the verb look like an adjective
and can create localization problems for machine translation.
Adding an article "Calling a server" [16 char.] or
"A server was called" [19 char.] removes ambiguity.
If signage is your guide, avoid gerunds:
"Call made to server" [19 char.]

(2) More importantly, is this the wrong battle? Please ask if an operator
needs to know about implementation, that a server is involved.
Messages are more meaningful to an operator if
they indicate the end, rather than the means, of SW implementation.
For example:
(line 1) Calling server // Read "The command was sent" [20 char.]
(line 4) Please wait // For what? I'm guessing something like
"Expect a response" would be clearer, than describing the coding process,
--which the SW engineers are always mighty proud of--, but may mean
squat to the operator of the equipment. Owners want to avoid industrial
accidents, or slow production. That's what matters to them. Being told
that a server is making them wait isn't exactly high on a customer
satisfaction index :-) Telling an operator what's coming encourages patience.

If your engineers protest, ask them to remember when their car was
last serviced. When they enquire if the vehicle is ready, would they
rather hear "yes/no" or "Please wait, the server is slow."?

And "server" should never be capitalized. Even huge and fast, a server
is still a common noun. :-)



Ladonna Weeks <ladonna -dot- weeks -at- comtrak -dot- com> a écrit :
Our product has a keypad used for installation and diagnostics.
It can display up to four lines of 20 characters each. What is
correct punctuation for brief, informative statements, such as
the following:

(line 1) Calling server
(line 4) Please wait

Should there be a period after each statement? I'm having trouble
getting the programmers to add periods and I wonder if the
convention for such displays is to leave them off. What is your

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


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Your thoughts on punctuation?: From: Ladonna Weeks

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