Re: <pPopulate as a verb for "fill in"

Subject: Re: <pPopulate as a verb for "fill in"
From: Laurie Rubin <lmr -at- SYL -dot- NJ -dot- NEC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 10:53:34 -0500

"Populate" is a techy term; where is the word commmon (excepts perhaps to
software and scientific techies and maybe sociologists)? If your users are
software developers,etc., and/or the document has been successfully used by
your users, you might accept keeping the term in. I say "might," because you
may want to contact a few current users (techies or otherwise), if possible,
and get some feedback from them -- what were their initial reactions to the
word, do the current users think new users will understand the word, etc.

If the users cover a general population, or have less technical savvy than the
above scenario, you may try to justify changing the entire paragraph by
explaining that "populate" is not a "common" term except in certain fields.
Furthermore, even if current users understand the term, new users may not find
the word very "common".


> The following sentence appears in a manual I'm rewriting:

> "Some fields are empty and must be populated by you. Other fields already are
> po
> pulated with a default setting that you can either leave alone or change to a
> not
> her value."

> Does the use of "populate" bother anyone. Personally, I'd rewrite the entire
> par
> agraph in the active voice and find another verb for "populate." I'm new in t
> his
> company and I've been told that this use of "populate" is common. I've never
> co
> me across it. Has anyone else?

> Thanks for you input.

> Ray

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