I can’t be the only person on the whole Internet who hates the phrase “allows you to” as part of a software description. Can I?
And yet, a Googling of “hates the phrase allows you to” brings up nothing, as do any number of less specific variations.
I don’t know why I hate this phrase exactly. But I’ve been assembling marketing materials for a bunch of different software products and in doing this I started to notice how often the phrase is used, and once I started to notice, it really started to bug me.
Is it just the laziness? Because, I swear, if you’re not paying attention, every single feature will end up described as “the blabbity blah will allow you to blabbity bleck.”
Or is it the remote, lofty quality of the word “allow”? It seems to imply that the software is my sovereign, and it is only by its whim that I am allowed to do thus and such.
Or is it the vague, jargony nature of the phrase? I mean, we don’t tend to write, “this hammer allows you to hit nails and other objects,” do we? “Allows you to” seems very software-specific. In other contexts it seems like we’re more likely to say, “with x you can do y” instead of “x allows you to do y.” Or you might write, “in order to do y, you need x.” Or, “to do y, get some/an x.” Or, “x does y.” (See, I’ve been brainstorming alternatives all day.)
I suppose I don’t expect others to share my exciting new obsession, but I would be interested in finding out — is ANYONE ELSE out there as bugged by “allows you to” as I am?