RE: Article in front of hardware or software

Subject: RE: Article in front of hardware or software
From: "Andrew Warren" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>
To: "SB" <sylvia -dot- braunstein -at- gmail -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 12:49:11 -0700

SB wrote:

> It was always my impression that when referring to a product XYZ in a
> sentence, you use the article "the". Configure *the* XYZ Switch as
> follows...
> However, with software, you omit it. For example: Use Microsoft Word
> author your documentation. Then again, you could say use the XYZ
> application...
> Is there a grammatical rule for this?

Um, this isn't a hardware/software difference... What you're seeing is
the difference between proper nouns and nouns -- proper or common --
used as adjectives.

Proper nouns:

Microsoft Word
Mount Rushmore

Nouns used as adjectives:

The XYZ Switch
The power cable
The Washington Monument
The Microsoft Word application


=== Andrew Warren - awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com
=== Synaptics, Inc - Santa Clara, CA

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

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