But in order to avoid the passive voice, the UI resorts to the first person plural, which is also discouraged in most technical writing style guides. At best, the pronoun is unclear because it does not have a clear antecedent; at worst, it is punning words in the mouth of the company, which can potentially have lkegal consequences (at least in a litigious society like the US).
This is one of the occasions where the passive voice is actually appropriate, because it is inconsequential to the user who or what is performing the act. All that really matters to the user is that the process is occurring. -Fred Ridder > From: info at mikewickham.com > To: verner.andersen at radiometer.dk; framers at lists.FrameUsers.com > Subject: Re: Use of "please" in technical documentation and messages on screen > Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 07:24:19 -0500 > > I don't know about the rules of technical documentation, but "please wait" > sounds much better than just a command to wait. > > More importantly, I love that you didn't use passive voice. You used > "updating the result list" instead of the typical, "the result list is being > updated." Bravo! > > Mike Wickham > > ----- Original Message ----- > > Hi > > Once I learned that you shouln't use the word "please" in technical > > documentation - that it was like asking the reader to do you favor. > > > > Does this still hold true? Is it OK to have this message displayed on > > the screen of our user interface? > > > > "We are updating the result list, please wait"