Delete or remove?
What’s the difference between delete and remove? When should you use the word “delete” on a user interface or in a document, and when “remove”? Here’s an explanation that makes sense to me.
Use “delete” when you’re getting rid of the thing entirely – when it’s disappearing from the data store. Use “remove” when you’re subtracting it from a group or a list, but it remains available in the data store.
An example is the model of users and groups. Let’s say the user
arthurdent belongs to two groups:
earthlings. When Arthur no longer lives on planet Earth, you would remove
arthurdent from the
earthlings group. But if Arthur has departed the universe without leaving so much as a towel behind, you would delete the username
Here’s another example. Let’s say you have a number of credit card charges, which you’re adding to two expense reports. By mistake, you’ve added one of the charges to Expense Report 1 as well as Expense Report 2. So you need to remove that charge from the report. In addition, there’s an erroneous credit card charge of zero dollars, which you can delete without adding it to a report.
Works for me. 🙂 What do you think?
Posted on 14 February 2015, in language, technical writing and tagged delete or remove, language, technical communication, technical documentation, technical writing. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.