Re: hit the key, kill the program, etc.

Subject: Re: hit the key, kill the program, etc.
From: Caryn Rizell <caryn -at- HPPTC95 -dot- ROSE -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 1994 11:23:02 PDT

Here is why these terms bother me: It is not because they
are offensive. Not at all--it is because when I get an error
message like this, it scares me!

Is a 'fatal error' really fatal? When I see this I panic and
think what I did that was so horribly wrong. Especially if I
am new to the software. My main fear is losing everything that
I have just entered.

If the error message were less scary and provided more meaningful
feedback, that would solve the problem. You could even use the
term 'fatal' if I was told what to do. The majority of the time
we see these messages and are just left hanging as to what to
do to get out of the mess. We are made to feel that the problem
was caused by something we did, when it could have very well
been a system error.

I don't like to say 'hit' any key, since I can only hope that
we are a little more careful with our hardware.

I must admit though, that I don't like 'kill'. That is a
violent term, and usually reminds me of the military (I worked
for a defense contractor once and they loved that word.)

Just adding my two cents to this.

Caryn Rizell
caryn -at- hpptc95 -dot- rose -dot- hp -dot- com

> I agree with Elizabeth about this. These terms make sense to me; they
> don't offend me. Besides, how would "we" (the gods & goddesses of
> sacred Technical Writing) forbid such usage? Does anyone want to
> penalize it?

> "Hit the key, kill the program ... go to jail."

> Live long & prosper,
> Mike LaTorra

> Documentation Supervisor
> Accugraph Inc.
> mikel -at- huey -dot- accugraph -dot- com

> =========== copy of original follows ===================================

> "Hit the key, kill the program, fatal error, bomb out,
> crash, blow up" What's wrong with these? No, I don't see these terms
> fading away. For people like me, they express very well the way they
> often feel when they use their computers.

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