Messageboxes - 1st, 2nd or 3rd person? 
Author Message
 Messageboxes - 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

I am not sure if there are any rules regarding this, but maybe you can find
something of your interest here: http://www.*-*-*.com/

--
Eric den Doop
www.foxite.com - The Home Of The Visual FoxPro Experts


Quote:
> Hi

> Her's a stupid question for the 'real world' people. Should messageboxes
for
> errors, information etc., be written in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

> Regards

> Distrust
> --
> Zoltar wore long red thigh boots and bright purple lipstick. I'm sure he
had
> long blonde hair and was really a woman.



Sat, 15 Nov 2003 05:14:22 GMT  
 Messageboxes - 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?
I know this isn't what you wanted, but when I saw it, I thought of you.
Source is unknown - it's "going around."

*!* Shakespearean error messages *!*

What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties,
in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel,
in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of
animals; and yet your login is incorrect, try again, you quintessence of
dust.

'Tis nothing to you, for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking
makes it so, except for that bad command or file name.

Brevity is the soul of wit; too many arguments.

A little more than kin, and less than kind, and even less memory.

The fs type is out of joint. Oh cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it
right!

What is the matter that you read, my lord?

Read error, file not found.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are in your kernel,
but it's still too big.

Your process hath shuffled off this mortal coil.

Oh, what a noble drive here is o'erthrown!

'S{*filter*}, do you think I am easier to be played upon than a pipe? OK, maybe
not that pipe.

I'll lug the guts into the neighbor room, or just dump them in your root
directory.

Something is busy in the state of your mount point.

Revenge should have no bounds. As for floating points, I'll make an
exception.

Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I, to this server what reset my
connection!

Fie, thy grief is a fault to heaven, a fault against the dead, a fault to
nature, and a fault of segmentation.

Dost thou hear me, old friend? Can you play The {*filter*} of Gonzago? Memory
access error.

Your login flies up, your password remains below; to logins without
passwords authentication never goes.

Something wicked this way comes -- oh good, permission denied.

Bus error: the rest is silence.

As he did command, I did repel your packets and denied you access to me.

And flights of angels sing thy process to its rest!

--

Cindy Winegarden    MCSD, MVP


Quote:
> Hi

> Her's a stupid question for the 'real world' people. Should messageboxes
for
> errors, information etc., be written in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

> Regards

> Distrust
> --
> Zoltar wore long red thigh boots and bright purple lipstick. I'm sure he
had
> long blonde hair and was really a woman.



Sat, 15 Nov 2003 20:03:04 GMT  
 Messageboxes - 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?
FWIW - the stupidest message I've ever seen are where the system refers to
itself as "I" or "me":

"Would like me to save your changes?"
"Please wait while I process"
"An error has occurred and I must exit"

I always do messages like this:

"Would you like your changes to be saved?"
"Processing, please wait"
"An error has occured and the program must exit"


Quote:
> Hi

> Her's a stupid question for the 'real world' people. Should messageboxes
for
> errors, information etc., be written in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

> Regards

> Distrust
> --
> Zoltar wore long red thigh boots and bright purple lipstick. I'm sure he
had
> long blonde hair and was really a woman.



Sun, 16 Nov 2003 01:09:38 GMT  
 Messageboxes - 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?
Hi.

    It seems obvious to me that the way accepted at scientific literature
and, therefore, the most appropiate in Messageboxes is 3rd. Person
(excepting in questions like "Are you sure?", "Do you want to delete these
records?", that should be be in 2d. person)

    Specifically, the sentence should be as impersonal as possible. That is,

    Not so good -> The user has produced an inconsistency
    Better -> An inconsistency  has been produced

    Not so good --> The program cannot read this file
    Better -->      File cannot be read

    This often implies to use passive tenses. But not always.

    Hope this helps,

    Vicent Palas


Quote:
> Hi

> Her's a stupid question for the 'real world' people. Should messageboxes
for
> errors, information etc., be written in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

> Regards

> Distrust
> --
> Zoltar wore long red thigh boots and bright purple lipstick. I'm sure he
had
> long blonde hair and was really a woman.



Sun, 16 Nov 2003 07:12:50 GMT  
 Messageboxes - 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?
Just to put in my two cents.  I usually try to word the message to
tell the use what they should do rather than what they should not do.

As in.

You must fill in the Name field before saving.

Rather than

Save error, Name field not filled in.

My other pet peeve is when the programmer only checks for one error
condition when several are possible.

I would rather be told about all the items that must be filled in at
one time, than fill in the missing field, be told that another is
missing, etc.

Jacob Bruner

On Tue, 29 May 2001 18:12:50 -0500, "Vicent Palas"

Quote:

>Hi.

>    It seems obvious to me that the way accepted at scientific literature
>and, therefore, the most appropiate in Messageboxes is 3rd. Person
>(excepting in questions like "Are you sure?", "Do you want to delete these
>records?", that should be be in 2d. person)

>    Specifically, the sentence should be as impersonal as possible. That is,

>    Not so good -> The user has produced an inconsistency
>    Better -> An inconsistency  has been produced

>    Not so good --> The program cannot read this file
>    Better -->      File cannot be read

>    This often implies to use passive tenses. But not always.

>    Hope this helps,

>    Vicent Palas



>> Hi

>> Her's a stupid question for the 'real world' people. Should messageboxes
>for
>> errors, information etc., be written in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

>> Regards

>> Distrust
>> --
>> Zoltar wore long red thigh boots and bright purple lipstick. I'm sure he
>had
>> long blonde hair and was really a woman.



Mon, 17 Nov 2003 01:53:43 GMT  
 Messageboxes - 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

Quote:

>> Here's a stupid question for the 'real world' people. Should
>> messageboxes for
>> errors, information etc., be written in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?


Quote:
>  It seems obvious to me that the way accepted at scientific literature
> and, therefore, the most appropiate in Messageboxes is 3rd. Person
> (excepting in questions like "Are you sure?", "Do you want to delete
> these records?", that should be be in 2d. person)

It's not clear to me what the connection is between scientific
literature conventions and user interface design. The primary
consideration in UI design is usability, which doesn't really apply to
scientific literature. And issues like maintaining the appearance (some
might say "illusion") of impartial objectivity, while important to the
rhetoric of science, have little or no applicability to UI design.

My answer to "Distrust"'s question would be: it depends on who will be
using the program. If it's consumers, phrase messages in the most simple
and friendly way possible. Using 2nd person (and maybe even 1st person
for the computer) will usually provide the smoothest user experience.

If your users are scientists, by all means adopt the passive voice. It
will make your program sound omniscient and infallible.

If your users will be nerdy technogeeks, use lots of jargon and always
give as much information as you can, even if it's not necessary for
responding to the issue. They like that.

- Neil



Wed, 19 Nov 2003 04:32:05 GMT  
 Messageboxes - 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

Quote:
> My other pet peeve is when the programmer only checks for one error
> condition when several are possible.

> I would rather be told about all the items that must be filled in at
> one time, than fill in the missing field, be told that another is
> missing, etc.

How about the good 'ol "Wrong - Guess Again!" error messages?  Something
like "Invalid Part Number", but no offer to browse the file or even exit.

Ray



Wed, 26 Nov 2003 05:48:55 GMT  
 
 [ 7 post ] 

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