Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm developing an application in English, but I'm not a native English speaker, so it's hard to put some English phrases in my app. The following message will appear when my program is processing, so users will have to wait until the process ends.

Now processing...don't terminate this program.

I don't know if the phrase is used correctly. Can anyone help?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by FumbleFingers, RegDwigнt Jan 3 '12 at 20:36

Questions on English Language & Usage Stack Exchange are expected to relate to English language and usage within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
As several answers have suggested implicitly, you need to include a "please" in there somewhere, or else the message comes across a little rude. –  psmears Jun 30 '11 at 7:10
1  
Sorry to be off-topic, but as a programmer, I'd say that you should design your application so that this message is never displayed. You should always try and provide the user with a 'Cancel' button and you shouldn't design your application so that the integrity of its data is dependent on the user not closing it. As a user, it drives me mad if an application 'locks me out' and the first thing I do with such apps once I've closed them is to uninstall them. –  tinyd Jan 3 '12 at 14:12
    
@tinyd: Absolutely. Any process that may take a significant amount of time to complete should support "cancel", and any "general use" app worth its salt should be capable of recovering after a restart even if the power goes down unexpectedly. But this is UI design, not English language. Voting to close. –  FumbleFingers Jan 3 '12 at 15:58
add comment

5 Answers 5

It is not wrong, but it may be nicer to say something on the lines of:

Processing... please do not close the program.

or

Writing data to disk, please do not terminate the program.

or

Processing... please wait, this may take several minutes.

share|improve this answer
    
The last two examples are run-ons. –  kiamlaluno Jun 30 '11 at 8:48
    
@kiamlaluno: of course, it was just to give some more examples of similar sentences, that can be used in that kind of situation. –  nico Jun 30 '11 at 10:13
add comment

In case of application development, avoid using these kind of sentences.

Try Processing ..... Show a progress bar under it and below write Please Do not terminate

share|improve this answer
1  
That sounds a bit harsh to me... Also (but that's nitpicking), it's only 3 dots, not 5! –  nico Jun 30 '11 at 5:46
    
by 5 dots I want to show progress bar and this is normally the way it is written in case of any application –  Stuti Jun 30 '11 at 5:51
    
As I was saying that was a bit of nitpicking. Anyway I never saw 5 dots in any application, could you provide a specific example? –  nico Jun 30 '11 at 6:39
add comment

I think they usually put it like this:

Processing...Please do not shut the program.

Terminate to me sounds a wee bit technical. Shut is kind of easier to understand.

share|improve this answer
    
"Close" is usually used, rather than "shut". They are almost synonymous in English, but the convention in Windows and Mac apps, at least, is "close". –  slim Jan 3 '12 at 13:59
add comment

It's not wrong. I'd substitute "the" for "this". I'm guessing your program freezes while processing and you're asking your users not to force quit/kill it? If not, maybe "exit" or "quit" would be better than terminate.

Off topic: as an occasional programmer, assuming your program freezes while processing, I'd suggest a progress bar so that users can see that 'stuff is happening'. Then they're not going to think your program has frozen and terminate it :)

share|improve this answer
add comment

The sentence is not wrong but it has issues. A native English speaker would immediately suspect that the programmer was not a native English speaker.

The ellipsis ("...") feels wrong to me. My instinct would be to simply make it a sentence:

Processing. Don't terminate this program.

... or use a colon to indicate that the second sentence is a consequence of the first.

Processing: Don't terminate this program.

"Terminate" is quite a formal word, while the contraction "don't" is quite informal. I'd suggest sticking with formality:

Processing. Do not terminate this program.

... except that sounds a little rude.

Processing: Please do not terminate this program.

... and I think most users nowadays prefer "application" to "program".

Processing: Please do not terminate this program.

... and probably they prefer "close" or "quit" to "terminate"

Processing: Please do not close this program.

In the final analysis, there are an awful lot of nuances even in this very simple prompt.

I strongly suggest you externalise your messages into a message file, and ask someone with strong English skills (either a native speaker, or someone who's lived in an English speaking country for some years) to translate from your native language to English. The translator should also have plenty of experience using your target computer platform, so they know the conventions.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.