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The point is, your engineer asked what terms
would be "better" for describing master/slave
functionality, and there are none. You can explain
to him that there may be alternatives that you and
he can agree upon that he may have less personal
discomfort with, but as far as relating the function
of the system you are documenting to the people
who will be reading your documents and trying to
use them to operate the system is concerned, they
will not be "better," or even as good. Inventing new
terminology to ease his discomfort will inevitably
render the document less clear to its intended
readers, and not pointing the reality of this out to
him will ill-serve your documents, your product,
your customers, your company, and in the end,
the both of you as well.
If you're not able to help your engineer resolve
his personal discomfort with the need to conform
to industry-standard terminology, use whatever
alternative you and he can agree upon, then do a
search-and-replace at the end of the doc process
to convert the new "comfortablese" you have
invented to language your customers will actually
----- Original Message -----
From: "Karen Mulholland" <kemulholland -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> This is not about political correctness; it's about
> responding to a colleague's stated discomfort, and
> using language that doesn't make people uncomfortable.
> It's not an abstract problem of "somebody somewhere
> may take offense"; it is a case of "this gentleman
> sitting in my office would rather use a different set
> of words in his own writing."
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