Re: Plural of "mouse"

Subject: Re: Plural of "mouse"
From: Mary Shaw <MSHAW -at- MONEYNET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 11:06:04 -0400

I wrote:
>> >> what if we're dealing with a really
>> >> dumb user who won't realize that
>> >> "pointing device" refers to their
>> >> mouse?

Tracy Boyington replied:
>> I think it's a little unfair to consider users
>> "dumb" if they don't realize "pointing device"
>> is supposed to be a more elegant way of
>> saying "mouse." If I read this in a user manual,
>> my first reaction would be that they must be
>> referring to something other than a mouse -- if
>> not, why didn't they just say "mouse?"

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound offensive. Looks like I didn't
choose my words carefully enough. (Hey, I have to choose my words
*very* carefully on my job; I shouldn't have to get hung up on it during my
email breaks. <g>)

Seriously, I didn't mean to use the term "dumb" to mean anyone who
wouldn't realize that a "pointing device" was a mouse. In my previous
life in Tech Support, I came in contact every day with people who didn't
have a clue (e.g., "No, I don't have Windows, because I'm in a cubicle,
not an office"). When discussing tech writing (or any software-related
topic), I tend to use the term "dumb" (incorrectly, I know), to refer to
someone who's not particularly computer-savvy (not to their faces, of
course). Since I now write documentation for non-technical users, I
keep this sort of thing in mind, and try to write as concisely as possible.

I think I'll try to get used to using another term (inexperienced?) instead of
"dumb". :-/

>> Maybe we should start calling it a rodent, or a Mickey. <<

Who was that cartoon cat who called them "meeses"? <g>

-- Mary

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