Dialog Phrasing, iDisk Synchronization, Spell Check

Thursday, 2004-09-23; 05:40:00

Three random things about Mac OS X:

1) Have you ever noticed that Apple has taken great care to avoid phrasing dialog messages in which the computer refers to itself in the first person? Almost all error messages, menu items, and everything else are all in the passive voice to avoid using the first person.

The reason it's funny is because I've switched my PowerBook over to using the Italian localizations, and in Italian, there's no hesitation in using the first person. I guess either it's really awkward in Italian to use the passive voice even for a computer, or Italians just like their computers more personable. ;)

(There used to be one place in the entire English localization where the computer actually referred to itself, so it was kind of an "easter egg". If you went to the Script Editor application, created a new script document, started recording, and then tried to quit Script Editor, the computer would bring up a dialog saying that recording was in progress and asking if "I should stop recording" in order to complete the quit command. Unfortunately, in Script Editor 2.0 included with Panther, the message is changed to the passive voice.)

2) Why does iDisk synchronization in Panther take so damn long? I have a 20 MB iDisk, and it takes well over an hour to finish synchronizing! Using a server-side iDisk and transferring the files manually, I don't think it would take nearly as long. However, I do seem to have close to 1000 files on my iDisk due to iBlog's directory structure, so could it be that that is the problem?

3) You should be able to activate spelling dictionaries for multiple languages in Mac OS X. In fact, it should be automatically activated for all languages that are checked in the International preference pane. After switching to Italian localizations, writing in English is a sea of dotted-red-underline mess. Boo, hiss!

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