Re: Anthropomorphic Phrases

Subject: Re: Anthropomorphic Phrases
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 15:55:41 -0500

One reason to avoid anthropomorphism is that it's tempting to use it to
cover weaknesses in understanding the subject matter.

For example, I could say

The system likes long passwords with letters and numbers.

Sounds more or less OK, nice and friendly-like. But does it mean that
you can't use other characters, or that they are ignored, or that
passwords must contain both? It may mean the writer doesn't know and
hasn't checked.

I use anthropomorphism, like the passive voice, as a red flag when I
edit my own work. Either might be appropriate, but it's worth taking
another look.

Mike Huber
mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com

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