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At 03:36 PM 1/19/96 UT, Judith Blackbourn wrote:
>Beryl Doan writes:
>>Similarly, I'd like to get opinions on using "the foobar menu is displayed"
>vs "the foobar menu appears."
>>My training and experience with PCs tells me that novices are often
>intimidated by computers, and that "appears" is too much like magic. While "is
>displayed" is passive, the reader does not need to know who/what displays the
>I like to use the phrase "the screen displays the foobar menu", as in "when
>you click the foo tool button, the screen displays . . .".
>In lists of steps, I put the screen response on a separate line following the
>numbered step, slightly indented from the hanging indent. In an online file, I
>don't indent the response but format it in half-a-point smaller type and dark
>blue to make it stand out (but not scream).
>1. Click the foo tool button.
> The screen displays the foobar menu.
>2. Select the moof option.
> The dogcow sings.
>(Sorry, couldn't help it)!
>JudiStaal -at- msn -dot- com
The screen does NOT display anything. The COMPUTER does the displaying. If
you object to the passive: "the foobar menu is displayed" I would suggest:
The computer displays the foobar menu on the screen.
This has the disadvantage of being longer, but IMHO it makes more sense to
I agree that the passive is acceptable when the doer is irrelevant. I think
I'd go further and say it's appropriate when the doer is irrelevant.