Future vs. present tense

Subject: Future vs. present tense
From: "Geoff Hart (by way of \"Eric J. Ray\" <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com>)" <ght -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 10:36:43 -0700

Doug Nickerson wondered about phrases such as <<Choosing... will
display the Data Info dialog.>>

The strong trend, based on what I've seen in print and on discussions
here on techwr-l, is that present tense is the way to go. The wording
is shorter, and avoids the problem of "_when_ will it appear?" and
"it will _appear to do_ something, but what will it really do?". I
also prefer to say "open a dialog box or window" rather than
"display": there's a nice consistency between open and close that is
lacking with "display/close", and the consistency extends to the
terminology most commonly used to explain how software functions
(e.g., "I opened Word and it crashed again").
--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"By God, for a moment there it all made sense!"--Gahan Wilson

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