Re: Killer

Subject: Re: Killer
From: Naomi Kritzer <nkritzer -at- WESTPUB -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 09:37:38 -0600

OK, I've been sitting on my hands all week, but this _is_ actually relevant
to the thread, so what the heck.

Some close friends of my parents bought their first computer two years ago.
A week after they got it, one of them called up my father in a panic. Her
youngest child had wanted to play a computer game and had neglected to put
a disk in drive A before attempting to launch the program. The computer
was now giving her a completely baffling error message: "Not ready reading
Drive A. Abort, Retry, Fail?" She had chosen the most innocuous of the
available options--Retry--and had gotten the error message again. She had
no idea what to do next (but like most new users, was afraid to experiment
because she might break something).

My father told her to "Abort." She did, and was relieved when it went back
to the normal prompt. The comment that she added afterwards was a little
too tasteless to repeat on the list, but yes, it involved the OTHER meaning
of abort and what she was half-expecting would flop out of the disk drive
if she picked THAT option.

From this story, you might get the idea that this person is stupid; she
isn't, she had just never used a computer before. PC or not, that option
"Cancel" would have made a LOT more sense to her. She wasn't _offended_ by
the use of the word; she was just confused.

Anyway, it's anecdotal, but hey, that's my favorite kind of evidence.

--Naomi Kritzer
Technical Communications
West Publishing Company

(Any resemblance between my opinions and those of my employer is entirely

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