TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
I have been watching all this "conversation" about being anthropomorphic
with interest; however, just today I came across an example that truly
fit. Thought I would share.
This brochure we've been working on describes the functions of a
database, essentially a program that provides a user with specific
environmental information. The program is called MEL, and after some
out of house revisions suddenly he was personified so much that MEL was
not only searching (as a program can) but also it now seemed that MEL
was striving and planning! Clearly this program cannot do either!
I thought this a terrific example of anthropomorphisms. Funny how a
writer can humanize a computer or program and not really notice it.
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
karen -dot- wiley -at- jhuapl -dot- edu