The wonder of English

Posted by jerry on February 24th, 2005 — Posted in Journal, Technology, Writing

The other day I was confronted with a message on my computer:

“Please do not press any keys or move the mouse while the installation completes…
… Click to continue”

now, what are we to make of this? Should I collapse in a heap of indecision? If I click the mouse will I damage the installation process? *sigh* I sat immobilised for perhaps five minutes before deciding that the click was designed to continue the process, and that – as long as I refrained from other mouse moves or further key strokes – the installation of the offending software would be unaffected.

But supposing English were not my first language, and that I had not had the benefit of a university education in the subject – this contradiction (literally speaking in opposite directions) would at best be confusing, and at worst would decrease my confidence in my competence at operating a computer. If it were an isolated case, it might pass off as a minor aberration, but it was from the same software company that insists we click to shut down. . . Need I say more?


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