Re: homophones, also some opinions and a question

Subject: Re: homophones, also some opinions and a question
From: Judith Grobe Sachs <Judith -dot- Grobe -dot- Sachs -at- UIC -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 1994 10:37:33 CST

Then there was the time that my (bald) husband was told to
"spherehead" a project.

But on the other subject. Here we (actually it's not quite "we",
documentation here is only 1.5 people):

"press" keys (including Enter and the "arrow keys"); we say "hold"
when we want them to hold the key down. We never "hit" keys --
too violent for my tastes -- but lots of people do seem to
want to "Hit Return". 99% of our stuff is for online reading
in text mode, not graphics, so we don't have the luxury of
using graphics for keys; that would be really nice!

"select" items from lists, which includes both moving to and
pressing Enter or clicking or whatever.

For commands we use either "type" or "Enter". Type means just to
type; enter means type and press enter. I'm not sure that everyone
catches this distinction, but it makes me feel good. We used to
use upper case for parts of command that had to be entered as is,
and lower case for the parts of commands that the user needed to
choose for themselves. (Sorry, we're pretty heavily into
mainframes here, so we do have to enter commands.) But we're
getting into Unix now, so that will not work any longer. I refuse
to use brackets or the like to indicate variables (for fear that
they'll think they're required and type them), and italics
don't show up online, so I'm not quite sure yet what we're going to
use for this in our brave new world. Any ideas?

I agree that "click" is something that you only do with a mouse.
(Besides, I hate keyboards that click when you type on them.)

In the same vein, sort of, I have a question. On our campus we
have PCs, Macs and various sorts of workstations. What term can I
use to refer to all of them without making anyone think that I've
left them out? I usually wimp out and use "personal computer" --
which does technically cover everyone, but I'm sure it offends some
Mac and workstation people.

I just began reading the list recently too. The volume of mail is
almost overwhelming, but it's been very interesting. And I guess I
can use the help, because I'm old enough to have come into both
computers and technical writing through the back door. (I started
out with a PhD in theoretical physical chemistry, for which I taught
myself FORTRAN back in the days of cards and card readers! :-)

Cheers! Judy

Judith Grobe Sachs Telephone - (312)996-3758
Computer Center, University of Illinois at Chicago FAX - (312)996-6834
Bitnet: U11371 -at- UICVM Internet: Judith -dot- Grobe -dot- Sachs -at- uic -dot- edu

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