Subject: populate
From: Tom Little <LITTLE_TOM_H -at- OFVAX -dot- LANL -dot- GOV>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 09:27:00 MDT

> "Some fields are empty and must be populated by you. Other fields already are
> populated with a default setting that you can either leave alone or change to
> another value."

> Does the use of "populate" bother anyone. Personally, I'd rewrite the entire
> paragraph in the active voice and find another verb for "populate." I'm new in
> this company and I've been told that this use of "populate" is common. I've
> never come across it. Has anyone else?

I think you're right all the way on this, Ray. Semiconductor bands can be
"populated" with carriers, which may be where the jargon had its birth. It's
pretty hideous applied to filling in forms or database fields. My rewrite:

Fill in the empty fields. If the field already contains a default setting, you
may leave it as it is or enter a new value.

Tom Tadfor Little | "They called me
Technical Writer/Editor | 'the quiet one' because
Los Alamos National Laboratory | I just didn't have anything
little_tom_h -at- ofvax -dot- lanl -dot- gov | to say" -- George Harrison, 1987.

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