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  • 352 votes cast
Jul
25
awarded  Notable Question
Mar
20
awarded  Curious
Feb
6
reviewed Reject What is the female version of “phallic”?
Dec
15
awarded  Popular Question
Jun
24
awarded  Famous Question
Jun
16
awarded  Constituent
Jun
9
awarded  Caucus
Apr
24
revised How to pronounce “AKA”?
deleted 84 characters in body
Feb
21
comment why do we say “she” referring to a general user of a program
Sometimes you might also see "(s)he" and any number of variants on this, implying that either pronoun is applicable.
Feb
21
comment why do we say “she” referring to a general user of a program
To add to this answer, many times designers/developers will make use of "user stories" which involve the creation of a hypothetical user and that user's interactions with the software. When you add in a bit of back story the use cases become more compelling than simply saying "a user opens the widget". Most products don't need to target users based on their sex, so user stories for most products should be evenly balanced.
Feb
16
awarded  Notable Question
Jan
31
comment Help me I just got in trouble with direct address comma at work
@Mitch, different punctuation is used for two main reasons: disambiguation and style. You want to be able to read a sentence and understand what's being said. A case where the differences are important could be "1–5" vs "1—5". The former means a range of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The latter could be taken as a robot named "1" responding with "5". As far as style is concerned, a typesetter may want to add flourish to the hyphen "‐" (unicode 8208), but would leave the hyphen-minus character "-" (unicode 45) plain.
Jan
31
comment Help me I just got in trouble with direct address comma at work
@RegDwigнt, you're right that grammatically was the wrong word. However, I do disagree with your assertion that "it is trivial to type and display a dash in most circumstances". It's quite trivial to display a dash, certainly, with UTF-8 support being what it is, but to type the dash usually requires scrounging around through lists of special characters. Some email clients make it easy to find emdash (gmail), while others (outlook) hide it behind a series of menus and dialogues. The whole point is to disambiguate the sentence.
Jan
31
revised Help me I just got in trouble with direct address comma at work
added 2 characters in body
Jan
31
comment Help me I just got in trouble with direct address comma at work
@JanusBahsJacquet, how about minus instead of hyphen? I know I'm probably getting myself in all sorts of trouble when I say this, but hyphen, dash, and minus are all the same character when used informally (-). There are few who are willing to spend the additional time while typing up an email to find and inject the correct symbol because it's simply cumbersome. It might be more appropriate to double the hyphen character to emulate an emdash, but either way the text reads correctly so long as you don't forget spaces. Karen-Mike could be taken as someone's name.
Jan
31
revised Help me I just got in trouble with direct address comma at work
added 65 characters in body
Jan
31
comment Help me I just got in trouble with direct address comma at work
@RegDwigнt, I was wondering if someone would try to correct that. I intentionally used a hyphen, because it's possible to reasonably type a hyphen in most circumstances. Although it might be more "proper" to use an em dash, it's so inconvenient that it's becoming irrelevant outside of formal publications.
Jan
30
comment Help me I just got in trouble with direct address comma at work
@BlackVegetable: In what contexts? zzzzBov: oh you know, when you want to show some dialog. BlackVegetable: oh, I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for being so awesome! zzzzBov: no problem, any time.
Jan
30
answered Help me I just got in trouble with direct address comma at work
Jan
30
comment Help me I just got in trouble with direct address comma at work
I don't recommend colons as they're commonly used to indicate a quote from an individual.