Re: Disable the User

Subject: Re: Disable the User
From: Lorraine Kiewiet <lkiewiet -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 15:56:49 -0700 (GMT-07:00)

Your suggestion of "Suspend" is good. Remember the threat of being "suspended from school"? It means, you gotta stay home with your parents and you can come back when the suspension is over. Unless you get expelled (deleted). And only students who have been suspended can be expelled (warning system).

The Microsoft Manual of Style says not to use Disable when referring to a person(user).

It's like the old Abort button.

-Jim wrote:

An application I am documenting offers a feature by which an
administrator can suspend a user's privileges, and this must be done
before the user account can be removed from the system.

The button for this feature says "Disable." This leads to the following
confirmation prompt: "Are you sure you want to Disable the User(s)?"

If I follow my standard format for section headings, I also have to have
a heading that says "Disable a User." And at some point, again if
following my standard style, I would enter a warning that said, "You can
only delete a disabled user."

I take a moderate approach to political correctness, but as someone with
friends who are disabled (the term they prefer), I'm having a bad
gut-level reaction to this. So I am curious:

1) Am I overreacting?
2) How would you reword my heading and warning?
3) I'm inclined to suggest in a UI bug that the button and prompt be
changed. The term "suspend" I used earlier is a possibility, although
my twisted mind it raises images of dungeons and thumb shackles. What
alternatives would you suggest?


Jim Morgan
Seattle, WA

Lorraine Kiewiet\r\nTechnical Writing & Consulting\r\nOnline & Print Documentation

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