terminology that swings both ways

Subject: terminology that swings both ways
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 12:20:19 -0500

What do y'all do with widely used terms like "client" and "server" that
can rightfully be used interchangeably (yet perfectly accurately either
way) in the same sentence? How to minimize the ambiguity without
maximizing wordiness and if/thens?

For example, in a few places in my Help, I have to talk about
configuration and interactions among our product, our customer's
computer, and _their_ customers' computers. Our product is a server to
the client... the customer's computer, and it might also be a server to
the customer's customers' client computers... or our customer might use
our product as a server but act as a server to their customer clients...
or... there could be a situation where our customer's computer serves a
certain type of operation to their customers, but hands off a subset of
those operations that our product does best. So, it's not as simple as
just putting categorical adjectives in front of the various possible
occurrences of "client" or "server", since those might switch in the
middle of a thought.

Don't get me started on "host"....

Sentences could become a little awkward.

Is there a standard approach? A best practice?



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