RE: Prompt as ask

Subject: RE: Prompt as ask
From: "Dawn Marie Oliver (Write Stuff)" <a-dawnmo -at- microsoft -dot- com>
To: "'Mike Stockman'" <stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 13:03:12 -0700

> In my experience both in teaching computing classes and in discussing doc
> with end users, I've found that users will treat computers as another
> thinking creature no matter how we, as the writers, feel about it.
> Comments like "What does this thing want from me now?" and "It seemed
> happy with the data I entered" were common, whether I was using
> person-verbs ("ask") or inanimate object-verbs ("prompt") in my
> descriptions.

This is my experience as well. I write developer
documentation, and the developers refer to the computers,
services, and programs an almost animate, sentient beings
(at times, and not all developers, of course).

Sometimes it is easier to write a paragraph
describing something in slightly anthropomorphic terms
rather than jump through hoops just to make it "inanimate"

a-dawnmo -at- microsoft -dot- com

<my opinions are mine own!>

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