Microsoft rules on navigate vs. explore?

Subject: Microsoft rules on navigate vs. explore?
From: Geoff Hart <Geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 15:58:40 -0400

To me, the first issue here is why anyone would consider
using the Microsoft style guide in the first place. Treat it as a
secondary reference, sure, but if you've got any choice, opt
instead for "Read me first" (Sun's award-winning style guide,
edited by Janice Gelb et al.). For a somewhat unflattering
review of Microsoft's guide, check out Don Bush's column
("The Grammar of Microspeak") on page 36 of the December
1998 issue of STC's _Intercom_. Don's been around the Bush
<ahem> more times than most, and I have considerable
respect for his opinions.

Paul Strasser added << fact, ["explore" and "move
through" don't have] the same meaning as "navigate." When
you are "exploring" you are doing something akin to surfing
the web. "Navigate" suggests a more deliberate movement to
a desired location.>>

And that's my read of the matter too: if you explore, you're
browsing by guess and by God; if you move through, you've
passed by without paying much attention; and if you
navigate, you know where you're going and what you'll find
when you get there. Given the state of the art in Microsoft
online documentation, I can well understand why they've
suggested their writers avoid using "navigate"... it sets up
unrealistic expectations. <evil grin>

Paul then wondered <<Do they sell Apples in the Msft
cafeteria, or do they call them fruitlike objects?>>

They do, but only if the Apples are bundled with Office98,
Mac edition. If you want the CorelSuite bundle, you'll have to
shop elsewhere. And there are those disturbing ongoing
rumors that you soon won't be able to find Macintosh apples
in the cafeteria and will have to settle for Spartans... <g>

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"If pro is opposite of con, then what is the opposite of progress?"--Anon. (possibly Richard Lederer

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