The idea of accessibility is to make websites (or other things) more easily usable by people, most frequently specifically “people who are disabled”. This is emphatically not just about using alt tags (note: always call them tags, it annoys the purists). Accessibility is not just about the blind.
The trouble with the evolution of language is that it occasionally evolves a bit too far. You can end up with multiple words that can be used for the same purpose but which have fundamentally the same definition. You can even end up with words that don’t have any meaning at all. Take the generic greeting, “Hello”. What does it mean? We all know when to use it, so much so that it is used in just about every modern European language and quite a few others beside. What does it mean? Where did it come from? No one is really able to tell us.
The unchecked use of acronyms and initialisms in technical writing presents a huge obstacle to clarity and readability. Although technical communicators are certainly more aware of this problem than are the engineers, scientists, and managers with whom they work, they need concrete guidelines and at least a small degree of self-righteousness on this subject to help them cope with the onslaught. That acronyms frustrate communication is well-founded in linguistic theory and common sense. Suggestions for mitigating their effect include issues of audience, term selectivity, frequency and occasion of use, and aesthetics.
The dictionaries that appear on Dictionary.com include: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition; Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary; The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing; Jargon File 4.2.0; CIA World Factbook (1995); Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary; Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary; U.S. Gazetteer; U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, through our site you can access definitions from: Acronym Finder; On-line Medical Dictionary; CancerWEB.
I’m working on a little style guide for direct and concise technical writing. One pointer is to avoid the use of should or shouldn’t when what you really mean is do or don’t. Saying something like “shouldn’t” makes it sound optional. In other words, shouldn’t leaves a little room for doubt. Don’t, well, doesn’t.
One of the difficult concepts to understand in the English language is perhaps the manner in which articles are used in a sentence. Over the course of one's life history, every student of English has had to face this nightmare at one point of time or another. The verbs are all in place and you know the nouns, the pronouns are fairly obvious, and the prepositions can eventually be worked out, but what comes before the word year and what comes before SMS is tricky.
In spite of having the thumb rules with us, we may still be at times unsure of placing the right articles. You may wonder sometimes like Sir Henry Higgins and say, ‘Why can’t we place the articles like the way it should be?’
This paper presents a study of the effect of informative, intriguing, and generic hyperlink wording on Web browsing behavior. The study was administered via the Web using a modified naturally occurring informational Web site. Link wording was varied in both the navigation menu and links embedded in the text. Data about participants' browsing behavior were logged with PHP scripts, and demographics, perceptions, and comprehension were measured through a post-browsing survey. Data from the study are being analyzed and will be presented at the conference.
There are a number of filler phrases in English that start with “in.” You can improve the readability of your technical documents by eliminating such phrases and using much shorter equivalents.
When is a noun not a noun? When it's been verbed. A lot of verbing is going on, as you've probably noticed. In fact, it's happening so frequently that I think we'd better come up with a name for the part of speech produced by verbing a noun.
Sexist language consists of various words and terms that foster stereotypes of social roles based on gender. Professional writers must keep abreast of significant changes in our language, and the issue of sexism is an integral change. Sexist language has become offensive. Sexist language is confusing.
When it comes to relative pronouns, incomplete knowledge may lead to frustration and confusion. The pronouns that, which, who, and what serve as relative pronouns when they introduce a relative (or subordinate) clause.
We see it everywhere: our schools, our places of business, even in notes stuck on our refrigerator. Yes, my friends, I’m talking about apostrophe abuse. The Obama administration, faced with two wars and an economy teetering on the edge of disaster, is unlikely to make this a priority. So it’s our duty as professional communicators to stamp it out.