Preferences versus defaults

Subject: Preferences versus defaults
From: "Debra Graham" <debra -dot- graham -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 15:43:18 -0400

Dear Techwhirlers—

I've not had occasion to reflect on the differences between preferences and
defaults, until today when I was asked to create a job aid on "setting
default preferences on the Auto Carry Forward Config page."

The term "default preferences" seems redundant to me and I began wondering
whether there was a difference between a default and a preference. At
first, I thought perhaps one applies to behavior and the other applies to
values? But that distinction didn't seem to hold—default behavior and
default values both make sense to me. Then I started thinking about
options, settings, and so forth, and quickly became overwhelmed (well, not
really overwhelmed but realized that I didn't have time to explore the
various "options").

So I was wondering if there was any documented usage guidelines or even any
consensus. Now, I know that asking Techwhirlers to come to a consensus is
crazy but I was hoping to get *some* feedback on usage. (BTW, I did do
quick Google and techwr-l searches.) Any help out there?



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