Re: Left hand side

Subject: Re: Left hand side
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 1995 14:38:37 -0800

John Gear writes...

> ... I wouldn't be
> sure whether the instructions meant the left side as I saw it or the left
> side as viewed from inside the cabinet.

> I think I would probably put the widget on the side closest to *my* left
> hand as I faced the cabinet. Which could easily be the wrong side--and the
> right side too! ;-)

> But if the instructions said "Put it on the left-hand side of the cabinet" I
> would probably take that to mean the *other* side (the one closest to my
> right hand when facing it).

I like this thread! It's comforting to know that I'm not
the only directionally-impared tech writer in the world! ;-)

Once, when I was teaching a word processing class, I got so
disoriented using the cursor arrow keys I had to write "left"
and "right" in the appropriate corners of the white board to
use as reference!

But I;m even more confused now! How could the left-hand side
of the cabinet be on your right hand side when the cabinet
doesn't have hands so the hands the instructions are referring
to must be yours (or do they belong to the guy standing behind
the cabinet)???

Usually, when I write book instructions, I say "on the left
side of the screen" or "in the left-most column of the table"(never
considered using "hands"). From this discussion, it's hard to
argue that including the word "hand" helps to make things
clearer %-)

If this is an assembly instruction, maybe a note at the beginning
that says you mean the assembler's left and right, not the unit's
left and right???

OK, I'll be quiet now...

Sue Gallagher
StarBase Corp, Irvine CA
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com

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