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Here is a transcript of a dialogue from the WWII film Greyhound. In it, the commanding officer of the convoy and his executive officer discusses how to word their distress message.

Cdr. Ernest Krause: Do I break radio silence with a message to the Admiralty? Or does that let the wolf pack know just how vulnerable we are?

LtCdr. Charlie Cole: What would the message be?

Cdr. Ernest Krause: “Help needed urgently.”

LtCdr. Charlie Cole: No. “Help needed.” That means “urgently.”

Cdr. Ernest Krause: “Needed” isn’t needed. Just “help.” That’s all the Admiralty needs to hear for a modified rendezvous point.

LtCdr. Charlie Cole: The Germans might miss a message as short as that.

It’s a good example on how to write for user interfaces. Consider the context, and remove redundant words.



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