Re: Caps misunderstanding

Subject: Re: Caps misunderstanding
From: Kelly Hoffman <kelly -at- NASHUA -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 1994 08:52:56 EDT

Margaret Gerard <margaret%mailhost -at- TOSHIBA -dot- TIC -dot- OZ -dot- AU> writes:

> My reaction was - well of course the user will look for a key labelled "Any"
> because it is represented (in the message) with its initial letter uppercase,
> this means that it is a specific key.

My problem (based on experience teaching novice users :-) with the "press
any key" message has nothing to do with whether the key name or "any" in
the prompt is initial-capped, and everything to do with users deciding
that the Shift key or Ctrl key is "any" key.

It may *say* "press any key," but it doesn't *mean* it. (Some keys are
more equal than others?) Try explaining *that* to a novice. ("Well,
yeah, you pressed a key, but you just happened to choose one that doesn't
send anything to the computer unless you press another key too, so the
'puter doesn't *know* you pressed a key." "Say, what?")

After this experience, why should the novice believe anything the computer

> I constantly get documents to edit in which the writer plays fast and loose
> with initial caps. Any ideas as to why this is so?

Perhaps because it's the editor's job to be concerned with nit-picky
details like consistency, and the writer doesn't want to be bothered?
(In other words, that's what editors are for. ;-)

Kelly K. Hoffman kelly -at- nashua -dot- hp -dot- com
Learning Products Engineer
Hewlett-Packard, Network Test Division "Reading the manual is
One Tara Blvd., Nashua, NH 03062 admitting defeat."

Previous by Author: So you want to be a tech writer...
Next by Author: Re: Documentation not as important anymore?
Previous by Thread: Andreas latest job hunting tip
Next by Thread: Re: Caps misunderstanding

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

Sponsored Ads