Techy people: how do you feel about the word 'should' when talking to people who use the systems you manage?
For example, "try that now; it should work" or, in response to an error report, "that shouldn't happen!"

@christianp I like using it because I don't like to commit 100% to anything working ;-D But perhaps your second example could come across to some people as a bit dismissive maybe, like you're questioning if what they've told you is correct? Maybe e.g. "It's not meant to do that" might be better for that reason?

@peter the first one feels like an abrogation of responsibility. if I use "it should work now", I always follow it up with "let me know if it doesn't".
The second one winds me up no end; my wife (a teacher) has frequent run-ins with her IT support, who rarely has anything to offer beyond "it shouldn't happen". Something like "OK, I'll try to sort it out for you" would be more reassuring

@christianp Ah yeah I was not imagining those words in isolation. The first one I agree should include an option for if it still doesn't work. The second one I prefer your suggestion too.

@peter is "it should work; let me know if it doesn't" more helpful than "it now works", and waiting for a reply of "no it doesn't!"?


@christianp @peter I think it is — unless you really are very certain it's fixed. I find quite often when a user reports something, I investigate, fix a bug, tell them it's fixed, and then discover they were clicking the wrong button all along. "It works now" doesn't legislate for that at all.

There's two "that shouldn't happen"s, though: "that's a bug we ought to fix", and "that's really weird because there is specific code to stop that happening". Both are fine but it's a source of ambiguity.

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