Re: Killer Language -Reply

Subject: Re: Killer Language -Reply
From: Amy Brown <AMYB -at- IPRAX -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 13:23:31 -0500


Personally, I'm apt to use "hit return" or "'hit enter", but what bugs me
about terms like "abort" and "Kill" is not the violence but the melodrama. I
get visions of reactor core meltdowns and Tom Cruise ejecting himself
from a burning fighter plane. We're documenting software or hardware
(mostly for civilian use), not writing screenplays.

I know, I know, "Abort" and "Kill" have been around for a long time in
computerland. But what really matters is who's using the software.
Really, how many users (other than UNIX or mainframe pros) will prefer
"abort" or "kill" to "cancel" or "stop"? When I first saw the term "abort," I
laughed out loud. I would have been less distracted if the writer had
used "cancel" instead. My job as a tech writer is NOT to distract the
reader with my word choice.

Bottom line: if my users will recognize and feel comfortable with "abort"
and "kill," then I'll use those terms (albeit reluctantly). But my users are
course authors and training managers most of whom don't even know
what UNIX _is._

amyb -at- iprax -dot- com

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