Re: "Navigate" or "explore"?

Subject: Re: "Navigate" or "explore"?
From: Darren Barefoot <dbarefoot -at- MPS-CANADA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 12:13:29 -0700

Well, Microsoft and Netscape aside, the two terms have differ significantly
in their connotative and denotative meanings. See below:

navigate (nàv´î-gât´) verb
navigated, navigating, navigates verb, transitive
1. To plan, record, and control the course and position of (a ship or
an aircraft).
2. To follow a planned course on, across, or through: navigate a

explore (îk-splôr´, -splor´) verb
explored, exploring, explores verb, transitive
1. To investigate systematically; examine: explore every possibility.
2. To search into or travel in for the purpose of discovery: exploring
outer space.

Speaking subjectively, the term "navigate" has a greater sense of purpose
and direction than "explore." Navigate also strikes me as more local than
explore, as "tactical" is to "strategic." If one "navigates" the Northwest
Passage, I think one knows full well where one will end up. If you "explore"
it, though, it sounds to me like you're just poking about. For the same
reasons we disdain the term "surf" as being too haphazard. Just my two cents
worth. DB.

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Heath [mailto:robert -dot- heath -at- FRITZ -dot- COM]
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 1999 12:16 PM
Subject: "Navigate" or "explore"?

The "Newspeak" column by Wayne Grytting in the current edition of Z Magazine
has this following small article:

Thesaurus Blues
The rivalry between Netscape's Navigator and Microsoft's Explorer web
browser has led to some recent caualties on the linguistic field. To get the
latest in correct terminology, we turn to Microsoft's "Manual of Style for
Technical Publications" (2nd edition, 1998, p. 185) where we find the
following instruction:

"Avoid the term 'navigate' to refer to moving from site to site, page to
page within a site, or link to link on the Internet...Instead use 'explore'
or 'move through' to refer to sequentially moving from one link or site to
another, or a similar neutral term describing the action."

...(rest of the article snipped)...

Has anyone read this instruction in Microsoft's guide? What do you think of
it? And what do you think of the word "explore" or the words "move through"
rather than "navigate"? (I haven't seen this addressed in the archives.)


Robert Heath
Technical Writer
Fritz Companies, Inc.
San Francisco, CA

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