I came across this editorial from the Salt Lake Tribune a few days ago, and I just have to link to it here. (Thanks to the folks over at RinkWorks for bringing it to my attention…)
Another thing that irritates my compulsive proofreading sensibilities: when a translator can’t decide how to transliterate a name and spells it two different ways in the same sentence. Seriously… this happens a lot more than one would expect. Right now, for Great Books class, I’m reading the History of the Peloponnesian War, and I’ve noticed that translator Rex Warner apparently can’t decide how to spell either
And the situation was even worse in our humanities textbooks last year. Oftentimes the authors would use the accepted classical spelling of a name in the text, but in the caption of a picture they would spell it using a modern transliteration; one example I remember was when “Polyclitus” was mentioned in the text, illustrated by a statue of “Polykleitos”. I can imagine how this might quite easily confuse some students…
While we’re on the subject of interface stupidities, here’s another one from the otherwise excellent freeware FTP client SmartFTP:
Here’s a screenshot of the Tools menu from SmartFTP. Quick quiz: What key do you press to get to the Settings dialogue once you’ve opened the menu? “S”, right? Nope. You have to hit the up arrow and then Enter, because the “S” shortcut also belongs to the Smart Update menu item, which happens to be listed first.
This can be quite aggravating even for us experienced users. I needed to adjust some FTP settings tonight (thanks to a really horrid connection) and kept hitting Alt+T+S, but the blasted update wizard kept coming up each time. For a few minutes I couldn’t quite work out what was going on, but eventually I happened to notice the mnemonic for “Smart Update”– and the rest is history…
So please, programmers, do not ever assign the same mnemonic to two menu items; even if you’ve got 26 items in a menu, you’ve still got numbers and punctuation left over to be used…
Just discovered a minor, but rather amusing, glitch in the Windows XP Explorer.
Y’know how in previous versions of Windows, Microsoft would often skirt the issue of subject-verb agreement in prompts by using parentheses? For instance, you’d often see such things as “5 file(s) found”, “1 user(s) connected”, and the like.
Well, Microsoft apparently thought those parentheses looked a little amateurish, and, well, I have to agree. Unfortunately, by removing them, they (inadvertently?) brought back the problem that those parentheses were intended to avoid. How so? Well, check out this screen shot to see what I mean.
It wouldn’t have been that hard to work in a kluge that substituted the appropriate form of the word, now, would it? I mean, I’ve even done it in simple programming projects…
All I can say is, I’m the one who objects, because this glitch really bytes. 🙂