Re: USAGE: Screwdriver

Subject: Re: USAGE: Screwdriver
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 1996 10:55:45 PDT

Brian Simmons writes:

>I gather that most of the list is composed of computer/software writers, but
>I'll cast a line anyway. In our semiconductor equipment maintenance manuals
>we have occasionally run into a situation where the term we used for a tool
>was not globally understood. For example, "Allen wrench" confused some
>international users; we changed that to "hex wrench."

>Amazingly enough we are now in a bit of a quandary as to what to call a
>simple screwdriver.

One installation kit I received recently had a number of screws and
bolts of similar size. The instructions included a parts list, which
showed technical illustrations of each kind of part and the typical
tool you'd use to install it.

With such a guide, they could have made up all the names and still have
been understood. They could have called a Phillips-head machine screw
a "gazortnit" for all I cared, so long as the picture allowed me to
separate the gazortnits from the other parts in the bag. Similarly,
a picture of a gazortnitizer would have allowed me to fish a Philips
screwdriver from my toolbox, if I hadn't been sophisticated enough
to recognize the need for a gazortnitizer from the picture of the

A picture is worth a thousand gazortnits.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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