Two days ago I went to an automated teller machine to withdraw some money. I inserted my card, entered my personal identification number (PIN), selected “withdraw”, selected the amount, touched “Display balance on screen” (that is, don’t print a receipt) and touched “No” to answer the question “Do you want to save this as your favourite transaction? – at which point the machine told me that I had had entered my PIN incorrectly. Right, then, why didn’t you tell me that immediately after I’d entered it? In fact, I had entered it correctly, but I’d used my credit card instead of my cash card. (It was Monday morning and my two cards are the same colour.)
[PS, my other grouch is that the Qualification field is limited to 30 characters. I typed “Master of Applied Linguistics” but couldn’t add “(Honours) (1st class)”. That’s what the certificate says, and I don’t get many chances to write it.]
[PPS, in both cases I will admit to contributing to the situation, but surely enough people do both that their systems should allow for it.]
The simplest way to describe the attitude of software engineers and companies to linguistic interfacing with their customers would be to say that they do not give a monkey’s fart about such matters. Not only do they never have a linguist check the use of language in the programs they expect us to use (that’ll be the day), they don’t have anybody at all checking it.