RE: Use of 'populate'

Subject: RE: Use of 'populate'
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Michelle Vina-Baltsas" <Michelle_Vina-Baltsas -at- datascope -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2008 08:57:57 -0700

Michelle Vina-Baltsas wrote:

> How do you all feel about using the word 'populate' in
> technical documents?
> For example,
> 1) Click the Actions button, then select Modify from the menu.
> 2) Populate the Approval Date:.
> 3) Populate the CR Number:.

I'll join the chorus of people declaring this use an abomination. But
once I got over the queasiness induced by "Populate," I noticed a couple
of other issues with your example.

Maybe Step 1 is just made up -- surely, you don't click a button to open
a menu, do you?

As for Steps 2 and 3, for crying out loud, lose the colons!! The field
name may be followed by a colon in the interface, but that doesn't mean
you should slavishly copy it into your document. A colon followed by a
period is a horrible, horrible thing -- fingernails on a chalkboard.

IMHO, of course.


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Use of 'populate': From: Michelle Vina-Baltsas

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