RE: Display, Displays, or Appears

Subject: RE: Display, Displays, or Appears
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Andrew Warren" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>, "Tim Lewis" <ltc -dot- writer -at- comcast -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 13:20:07 -0600

Andrew Warren wrote:

> A dialog box doesn't have a real-world physical equivalent
> like a folder or document -- it's OUTSIDE the desktop
> metaphor -- so it doesn't have to "open" like a folder or
> document. It's an intrusive, metaphor-breaking interface
> between the user and the computer; "appears" describes its
> behavior perfectly. Plus, "appears" has an antonym that you
> can use when the box goes away; "is displayed" doesn't.

Excellent! I've never understood the irrational negative reaction some
people have to "appears." This is a fine two-part rebuttal of that point
of view.

As for Tim's query, there is no "standard convention" precisely because
of the irrational pig-headedness of those who disagree with Andrew and
me. :-)

My preference would be something like this:

To <do some task>:

1. Click XYZ.
2. In the XYZ dialog box, <do some step>.
3. ...


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


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RE: Display, Displays, or Appears: From: Andrew Warren

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