Re: dumb question for today: button or key?

Subject: Re: dumb question for today: button or key?
From: Tom Johnson <tjohnson -at- GRANDTRAVERSE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 1997 08:06:55 -0400

> Mary Durlak asked:
> What do you choose to call the thingies that you press on
> equipment (this isn't software or computers) to make things happen? My SME
> likes "key" but can live with "button," which I prefer (more familiar,
> common usage).

In my mind, keys (when you're talking about the kind you press) are
rectangular and buttons are round. In our documentation, we describe
machine control panels. The buttons and keys are distinctly different.
In some cases a button may have the same function as one of the keys
because that is what the customer wants. So, the function of a button or
key can't be used to determine nomenclature. Shape makes more sense to
me. What does your audience analysis indicate?

For what it is worth, there is also a key similar to the kind you use to
start your car. We call that a key too.
Tom Johnson
tjohnson -at- grandtraverse -dot- com

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