"Seed crystals" : display (vt) and appear (vi)

Subject: "Seed crystals" : display (vt) and appear (vi)
From: Rebecca <rnaffziger -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 1994 11:01:40 -0700

"The progress message displays, is displayed, or appears in the Message Window."

I think the display-appear controversy is pretty one-sided. Because the
verb display is usually transitive, even in the SW user manual genre,
many, if not most, readers would ask "displays what?" for a nanosecond.
Even "is displayed" would be better despite the extra syllable, which is
better than a question. But why waste their time when "appears" directs a
reader's attention to the relevant matter so well?
- No reader will pause to wonder what made the message appear for purely
linguistic reasons
- "Appear" does not conjure up distracting magical connotations for most readers
- "Appears" is an active, two-syllable word
- "Display" could then be used as a noun without causing much confusion


R e b e c c a


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