Microsoft Manual of Style

Subject: Microsoft Manual of Style
From: "NIVA Inc." <NIVA -at- MAGI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 11:00:56 -0400

On Monday, 14 April, Andy Carroll wrote:

> I haven't had a mouse on my computer for a few years. I use Mac
> PowerBooks, but one had a trackball and this one has a trackpad.
> Unless you consider the cursor arrow a "mouse", then even the
> singular form is problematic.

The hardware gadget is a "mouse" (pick your own plural); the on-screen representation is the "pointer". "Pointing device" is a nice catch-all for a mouse, trackball, or light pen (and others I may not have encountered).

I'm puzzled to hear all the comments slamming the Microsoft style guide. As far as I can tell, most of it simply restates principles already well covered in Chicago and other standard reference, with some MS-Windows user interface specifics thrown in. While I wouldn't use it as my primary resource, it's a good guide to choosing consistent, recognizable terminology for products written to run in a particular operating environment.

Ann Fothergill-Brown
Senior Editor
Canada's Leading Documentation Firm
mail -at- niva -dot- com

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