RE: "Select" in lieu of other verbs

Subject: RE: "Select" in lieu of other verbs
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Boudreaux, Madelyn \(GE Healthcare, consultant\)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 10:49:29 -0700

Boudreaux, Madelyn wrote:

<snip> I have one engineer who will only use "select" in all cases where
> behavior can be invoked in one or more ways. So, where I've edited a
> line to read, "Touch OK," she changes it back to "Select OK."
> She's not just doing it to be ornery. Her reasoning is that the user
> invoke "OK," in multiple ways, so she doesn't want to dictate how they
> do it. I maintain that we tell them one way to do it, and not
> them to do it multiple ways. I suggested we talk to the Human Factors
> manager (her boss), but she wasn't interested in his opinion. I told
> I needed to consult the style guides and think about this, and she
> cheerfully told me I could think about it all I wanted; she was
> "select" as a generic verb. </snip>

Personally, I think the substantive issue isn't worth fighting over. I
don't think "Select," used consistently, will confuse/mislead people or
cause other problems.

BUT ... (and it's a big but) ... there's a bigger problem here than the
choice of verb. Who's in charge? Who owns the doc? Who has the final
word? You said this engineer isn't interested in her boss's opinion --

Has her boss delegated to her the ultimate authority over what goes in
these docs? If so, then you're playing a purely advisory role and you
might as well get used to it. If not, then her lack of interest is
irrelevant -- talk to her boss and clarify just who decides issues like
this: you, the engineer, her boss, your boss, someone else ...


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


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"Select" in lieu of other verbs: From: Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)

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