Re: Hard Hitting Computing

Subject: Re: Hard Hitting Computing
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 12:08:57 EST

Ben Hechter suggested:
>Maybe we could come up with a glossary of two-fisted
computing terms.

Matthew Stern <MAStern -at- PLATSOFT -dot- COM> added:
> I can think of more than a few such terms. However, I
think we should avoid using such terms when possible. The
less violent terms are less offensive and clearer than the
more "hard-hitting" ones. Here are some examples:

> "Cancel" instead of "abort." <snip>

I use "abandon" instead of "abort," because it means the
same thing but without any overtones that really do upset
some users. It also starts with the same two letters, which
is useful in the case of an app we use here that uses the
command "ab" for this purpose.

Lisa Higgins <eilrh -at- EXCHANGE -dot- WCC -dot- LUCENT -dot- COM> responds:

> I don't think so at all. I've worked at companies that had
policies against using terminology such as "hit a key,"
"abort a procedure," "disable something," and so forth, and
frankly, this sort of pantywaist writing is not only
irritating, but tends toward the incomprehensible.

It is possible to write so that such circumlocution looks
like ordinary writing, not at all irritating and perfectly
comprehensible. That's certainly my goal.

Speaking of "pantywaist writing," I am reminded of a thread
that has come around on techwr-l so many times that all of
you relatively old-timers will remember it just by this
description. It became a holy war and nobody won.
Inflammatory and sarcastic posts don't help any of us.

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
(standard disclaimer)


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