[no subject]

From: David Ibbetson <ibbetson -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 12:56:39 -0500

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)!
>Judith Blackbourn
>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
the computer-illiterate.

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.

David (the idiot) Ibbetson

David Ibbetson Phone (416) 363-6692
ibbetson -at- idirect -dot- com Fax (416) 363-4987
133 Wilton Street, #506
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5A 4A4

Previous by Author: Re: $ per word - quantifying TW
Next by Author: Re: Is anyone else getting double messages?
Previous by Thread: Re. Passive standards
Next by Thread: Two (2) Technical Writing Positions Available

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads