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>I am always stumped when I come to making up user names. This seems like =
>a good way, but I can't really do it because a lot of my friends have =
>names unpronounceable or unspellable in English. Also, our marketing =
>department's policy doesn't necessarily encourage our making it obvious =
>in what country the software is produced.
In the United States, we also try to avoid using names and addresses
that show preference to one culture or country. We write for an audience
that is not only international, but multicultural. So, even when I show
American addresses, I try to include examples that include names from a
number of nationalities. I also include address formats and currencies
for different countries. This not only avoids cultural or national bias,
but it shows users outside of the United States that they can configure
the product to fit their needs.
Of course, you need to make sure the names and addresses are correct and
valid. (I saw one manual with a reference to "Toykyo, Japan.") :)
One source for names from different cultures and countries is to
international phone books. (You should be able to find them at your
local library or phone company.) Look for common names so that it
doesn't seem like you're referring to a specific person. Also, be sure
to change addresses and company names, so that you're not publishing
someone else's information.
Hope this helps.
Sr. Technical Writer
Platinum Software Corporation
mastern -at- platsoft -dot- com