Re: what do you call it when your computer stops?

Subject: Re: what do you call it when your computer stops?
From: "Dan S. Azlin" <dazlin -at- SHORE -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 1995 01:00:22 -0400

On Thu, 31 Aug 1995, Solveig Haugland wrote:

> Several terms are used to describe what happens when your computer just won't
> do anything--it's frozen, it locks up, it's hung, and so on. Has anyone found
> dignified, yet clear term to describe this? We've tentatively gone with "if
> your computer stops processing" but it doesn't feel good.

Diplomacy is called for here. God forbid if the marketing types find out
that we have even _suggested_ in the documentation that a computer can
lock up, freeze, hang, crash, get lost, freak out, glitch, or otherwise
become unresponsive. To print such a blasphemy would be tantamount to
admitting that the product is _less than perfect_. But, if we must,
consider the context of the situation being addressed and select a
descriptive phase that _minimizes_ the psychological impact for the
"uninitiated user." As a test, read some samples out loud to a
sales-type and watch his/her face (especially the eyes).

> This, of course, is to be distinguished from when one is "kicked out" of an
> application--when it quits unexpectedly.

Such things only happen to the competition's products, right?

Dan Azlin ** WORD ENGINEERS, Technical Writing & Publishing **
Ph/Fax: 508-921-8908 18 School Street
Internet: dazlin -at- shore -dot- net Beverly, MA 01915-4851

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