Terms with Unfortunate Connotations: Any Horror Stories?

Subject: Terms with Unfortunate Connotations: Any Horror Stories?
From: SusanSchulken <SusanSchulken -at- PREFERREDHEALTH -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 12:24:19 -0500

I'm documenting a medical application that manages patient records and
treatment plans. One of the command buttons in this application is
labeled Void; this command removes a record from the database. (The
developers don't want to use Delete, because that term implies
destruction of the record.)

I've suggested that Void may not be the best term, since it also has a
specific medical meaning: "to evacuate urine or feces." I have a
feeling that our users (nurses and physicians) will have a lot of fun
with this -- at our expense. Then there are the translation issues....

Unfortunately, our developers and interface designers aren't convinced
that this is a problem. So, I'm looking for some real-world horror
stories that might help change their minds. Please send a copy of your
response directly to me -- I need the ammunition ASAP.

Susan Schulken
Manager, Technical Communications
Preferred Health Systems, LLC
susanschulken -at- preferredhealth -dot- com

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