Re: the in captions?

Subject: Re: the in captions?
From: Max Wyss <prodok -at- PRODOK -dot- CH>
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 00:38:14 +0200

Cyncy, and others,

It could be that - because English is not my native language - I interpret
a bit too much into that issue. But to me,

Figure 1: The File dialog


Figure 1: File dialog

are not a hundred percent equivalent.

For my translation work, the first version clearly refers to the File
dialog which is described right now. The second version refers to any kind
of File dialog. In other word, the first version is more specific. One can
expect more contextual details from the first version than from the second

Just my two cents.

Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering AG
Technical documentation and translations, Electronic Publishing
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch or 100012 -dot- 44 -at- compuserve -dot- com

Bridging the Knowledge Gap


>Personally, I do not see why "the" is necessary in a caption. Since you
>are identifying the item with a short title (File dialog), the title is
>not a sentence and is not subject to the requirements of a sentence.
>Any time that I am debating on a word, I ask myself, "What meaning does
>the word convey to the reader?" If the word is necessary for
>comprehension, aids in clarifying the idea or is mandated by grammar, then
>I include it. If not, I remove it. I would ask what is the true difference
>in these statements:
>Figure 1: The File dialog
>Figure 1: File dialog
>The first one takes up more space. They both mean the same thing. The
>reader will not be insulted if you give her fewer letters to read and
>Just my take,
>Cyndy Davis
>Technical Writer
>Lenexa, KS

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