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Subject:Re: Killer From:"Virginia L. Krenn" <asdxvlk -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU> Date:Thu, 14 Nov 1996 16:47:19 -0800
The message below from Naomi Kritzer (although it is discussing the
"abort" terminology) illustrates what I had been thinking about the
male/female terminology. Users are getting younger all the time. And, some
of them may be encountering this terminology in elementary school prior to
sex education classes and would be totally confused by it.
Steve Evanina said that he received the following info from a connector
manufacturer and it sounds like a good choice to use instead of the
"Identification of the sex of a connector can vary. The side with
the pins is male and the side with socket contacts would be female.
Using "male" and "female" is sometimes considered "politically
incorrect." In most cases we say either plug and receptacle housing
or plug and jack. Something like that can keep you from offending
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
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.