Re: Microsoft Manual of Style

Subject: Re: Microsoft Manual of Style
From: "Wayne J. Douglass" <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 15:49:30 -0700

At 04:29 PM 4/14/97 -0500, Eric from beautiful Wisconsin! wrote:
> There has to be _some_ connection between technical writing and what's
>used in conversation, and I've never heard "mouse devices" used I don't
>think. I've heard "input devices" before but, I believe, that's because
>there's no obvious plural for "input." There is for "mouse" though and
>that's what I've heard people use in real life.
> If you're walking down the hall with a box of, um, rodent-looking input
>devices, and someone asks you what you have, you'd almost certainly say "a
>box of mice" or "a box of computer mice."
>
> Who says "mouse devices?" To use a phrase like that pulls technical
>writing further away from familiar language. Overly formal writing for
>formal's sake. It's like academic writing which, IMO, has no place in
>technical writing for user benefit.
>
> "Computer mice" or even "input devices" sounds better.
>
I have heard of "pointing devices" used as a plural form of computer
rodentia. And why not? It's the "P" in the WIMP computers we're talking about.

--Wayne Douglass

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