RE: Display, Displays, or Appears

Subject: RE: Display, Displays, or Appears
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: "'Downing, David'" <DavidDowning -at- Users -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2008 12:15:36 -0700

> From: Downing, David

> I guess where we're coming from is that to say something "appears,"
> implied that it magically appears -- POOF! Like Cinderella's fairy god
> mother APPEARED to her.

When you look up in the sky, do clouds "appear" or are they "displayed"?

I prefer to avoid this repeating discussion and, after dealing with the
controversy of "Displays v. Appears," I try to avoid the use of the terms
altogether. "Displays" or "appears" usually refers to the existence of a
window, a screen, or a prompt. This existence is the result of some action
and the action should produce some result. In other cases of actions, we do
not go into detail about the existence of the result, we just refer to the
result that should be there if the action was performed correctly.

Like, when an instruction tells a user how to apply bold to text. 1. Select
the text. 2. Choose bold from the format menu (or whatever). We do not
then follow this with "and the text will appear (or display in) bold. So,
why do we need to announce that an action opened a window?

I realize that when computer technology was new and people were learning
about how actions can cause "windows" to open, we needed to describe this
occurrence. But now, people know about windows; they don't need their
documentation dumbed-down to explain that a window or a screen or a prompt
will become available after an action, they know applications do these



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RE: Display, Displays, or Appears: From: Downing, David

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