Re: Help: "Increment" as verb

Subject: Re: Help: "Increment" as verb
From: Kris Olberg <KJOlberg -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 15:39:04 -0500

In a message dated 95-12-21 01:47:01 EST, bkovitz -at- IGS -dot- COM (Ben Kovitz)

>And I do think it is *required*. If you must have a substitute, you
>can say "automatically increases the transaction ID by one", but I
>think you can see how much worse that would be. It's not only wordier,
>but I think it's less clear, precisely due to its vague suggestion
>that transaction IDs might be continuously variable. Good tech
>writing repeatedly drives home the correct set of concepts that the
>reader needs to think in terms of, in every word choice and diagram
>and subtlety of organization, not only in explicit statements. So it
>would be a shame to miss out on the benefit that "increment" can give
>you here.

I would use it only in documents with reading level over the 12th grade or
for programmers, analysts, etc. For most other end users, I'd say, "adds one
to the ...." (BTW, I don't know for a fact that "increment" used as a verb is
a 12th grade word. Does anyone know?)

To take it one step further, I might not say anything about the behavior of
the trans ID at all. It depends on the context, the user interface, and the
importance of that particular fact to the end user. Sometimes these things
are obvious to the user and need not be discussed in the docs. When I write a
sentence using the word "automatically," I'm instantly suspicious and
evaluate the usefulness of the information to the reader. Sometimes I
eliminate the information; most of the time I rework the sentence to focus
the information on how it affects the reader rather than on the behavior of
the software itself.

kjolberg -at- aol -dot- com
kjolberg -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com
102031 -dot- 3556 -at- compuserve -dot- com

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