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I am currently documenting a web interface. What would you recommend as a more friendly way of saying:

This will display the last n entries.

Where n is the number they have entered. I've been trying without success to find a solution that is not too wordy, yet remains clear.

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  • Why must your description of this information be more 'friendly'? Surely it is enough that it is clear and concise (as it currently is)?
    – Erik Kowal
    Jul 28, 2014 at 12:24
  • It feels too mathematical, it isn't something I would say in normal speech, which is something I'd prefer, but I'm not if English has such a phrase.
    – Jonathan
    Jul 28, 2014 at 12:25
  • Well, this subject matter isn't exactly the stuff of normal conversation, is it? If you want to lighten the tone, it might be better to do it in your introductory descriptions or general examples rather than in sections that focus on the technical details.
    – Erik Kowal
    Jul 28, 2014 at 12:30
  • Changing last to most recent is marginally less technical, but not much.
    – bib
    Jul 28, 2014 at 12:31

1 Answer 1

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If you want it really friendly and you are allowed to sound a little informal, you may use something like

The number says how many of the latest entries you want to be displayed.

or

The button displays last entries. Their amount is limited by the number you have entered.

Of course you may also replace entries by something less technical, such as items, books, bottles of beer or whatever else based on your application's domain.

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  • Both of the rewrites you suggest are verbose and somewhat roundabout, and thus end up less clear than the original form. Jul 28, 2014 at 21:41
  • @jwpat7: I agree with what you said - it's true for us technical guys. However, I think that for a common non-technical guy the sentence "This will display the last n entries" is less understandable. Considering the latter as more clear requires some training and brain manipulation :) Jul 29, 2014 at 5:55

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