Re: E-Primer

Subject: Re: E-Primer
From: Guy Haas <ghaas -at- INFORMIX -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 May 1994 10:09:19 -0700

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition,
Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1992: (<> represents italics)

display --<tr.> 1.a. To present or hold up to view.
b. <Computer Science> To provide (information
or graphics) on a screen.

--<intr.> <Computer Science> To provide information or
graphics on a screen: <a personal computer
that displays and prints.>

Now, in both cases, the computer (or its software) is the actor.

"The program manager window displays" makes the window the
actor, which it is not (unless we are using the terminology
of Object Orientation, where a window might be an object
that displays *itself*).

Passive voice is useful for certain things, such as obscuring
the actor (for example, "Mistakes have been made.") If it is
not necessary to mention WHO/WHAT displays the window, I (too)
would use "appears," even if it DOES have a magical flavor
about it.

--ghaas -at- informix -dot- com
Guy K. Haas, Sr. Tech Writer RTFM?
Informix Software Inc IWTFT!
4100 Bohannon Dr. ^
Menlo Park, CA 94025
[If I were speaking on behalf of Informix, I'd say so, *explicitly*.]

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