RE: "USB compatible data storage device "

Subject: RE: "USB compatible data storage device "
From: Fred Ridder <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <becca -at- di -dot- org>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 12:22:07 -0400

Becca wrote:

> My document referrs to a "USB compatible data storage device " - what I'd like to do is use that phrase once, and put "memory stick" or "thumb drive" in parens after it, and then use the more common phrase thereafter. (I'm trying to make the document more readable). Should I use memory stick, thumb drive, or other phrase? and if so, what? I've heard those thingies referred to by a lot of terms.

I see at least two problems with your proposal.

First, "memory stick" is an overloaded term. With initial capitals it is a Sony trademark for a portable flash memory format (a largely unsuccessful competitor to other formats such as Secure Digital, Compact Flash, XD); and to make matters worse, Memory Stick devices are *NOT* USB compatible. Also, many people used to refer to desktop-style memory modules (e.g., DIMMs) as "sticks of memory".

But a more fundamental problem is that you have focused in on one specific type of data storage device that plugs into USB. Many people (myself included) use portable hard drives that plug into USB at least as frequently as flash memory devices.

My suggestion for a shorter term would be to drop the "compatible", since that word really doesn't add much meaning. It seems to be a very safe assumption that a USB device is, in fact, compatible with USB. The only time I'd ever use "compatible" in conjunction with USB is if a device requires a specific version of USB, but then it would also be necessary to mention the version number.

-Fred Ridder

Writer Tip: You have more time to author content with Doc-To-Help, because your project can be up and running in 3 steps.

See the &#8220;Getting Started with Doc-To-Help&#8221; blog post.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @

"USB compatible data storage device ": From: Becca

Previous by Author: RE: His/Her v. Their
Next by Author: Re: Another way to say High-Performance
Previous by Thread: Re: "USB compatible data storage device "
Next by Thread: Re: "USB compatible data storage device "

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads