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

Subject: Re: <pPopulate as a verb for "fill in"
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 17:25:48 -0800


> On Fri, 13 Jan 1995, Osmundo R. Fernandez wrote:

> > 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
> this
> > company and I've been told that this use of "populate" is common. I've
never
> co
> > me across it. Has anyone else?

> Yeah, it's common... For techies. I wouldn't use it in a User Guide
> or even in a Programmer's Guide. Why not just fill or enter the
> fields? I'm with you, Ray. Trust your instincts.
> Rosie (NorthCrowe)

And I agree, for the most part, in not using it in a user guide for
the naive end-user. Programmers, however, view the word "populate"
as describing a different action than "fill in". If you have
populated the database, generally you have done it by gathering
information that exists elsewhere and dumping it in. If you have filled
in a record, field, etc., generally you have done so by hand.

There are lots of terms that I cringed at on first encounter --
instanceable for one (the ability in an oo programming language to
create an instance of an object). But, I maintain that it's
necessary to write to your audience... And, if that's the word
that is most easily understood by the target audience...

Sue Gallagher
StarBase, Irvine CA
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com
This reply inspired by actual events ;-)


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