RE : Preposition at Beginning or End?

Subject: RE : Preposition at Beginning or End?
From: Yves JEAUROND <jingting -at- rogers -dot- com>
To: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Keith Hansen <KRH -at- weiland-wfg -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 08:20:17 -0400 (EDT)

Geoff makes a good point.
And since this thread is still kicking... :-)
let me play devil's advocate for one minute
and take his idea further.

== New Rules == // With apologies to Bill Maher
(1) Experienced users are smart enough to know
where to do things. Have you ever typed your name
in an Address field. Duh! Or an IP address in the Date field?
If users are doing that,
then the coders need to know there is something
profoundly misleading about their GUI labels.
(2) It's a matter of mnemotechnic.
Users only want to know the ORDER in which to
do ALL of the steps. They don't want a course about
data-entry. Individual steps matter less
than that checklist of "all the steps needed to complete
the task", such as, to enter a record into the database
for company x, enter these ten items...
If users can't remember all of the steps,
then the coders need to know there is something
profoundly wrong about the workflow in the GUI.
(3) People joke about it but users really do
prefer "Ready, fire, aim" to "Ready, aim, fire".
If users can't do that,
then the coders need to know there is something
profoundly counter-intuitive about their GUI's data-checking.

With tongue firmly in cheek, on a Friday, :-)


Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca> a écrit :
Keith Hansen wondered: <1: "From the Country drop-down list, select USA." Sentence No. 2:
"Select USA from the Country drop-down list.">>

Both are acceptable, but the first is nominally superior because it
tells the reader where to look; in the second, the reader must hold
the action ("select") in their head while they figure out where the
action must take place. But for such short phrases, that's largely a
theoretical objection. I doubt that there's any practical
significance to the difference, and that it's more important to be

Note, however, that this query doesn't really have much to do with


Again, both are correct, but this time the second option follows the
abovementioned principles, and is arguably superior. But "click" and
"click in" aren't necessary in either option. Readers who don't
already know how to click to position the cursor in an input field
aren't going to be helped much by the rest of your instructions.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Preposition at Beginning or End?: From: Geoff Hart

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