Negative Decrease from LinkedIn Not Misunderstood Incorrectly

This is more of a rant, but there is a point regarding cognitive friction in interfaces, in this case a simple email message.

The other day I received this email message, and yes, I’m pedantic enough to insist that they are “email messages”, not “emails”, or heaven forfend, “e-mails”. Oh, and on behalf of the C programmer community, thank you, gcc, for teaching us the word “pedantic”. I’m also pedantic enough to have written an application for spell-checking Javadoc and strings in Java doc.

Back to my rant, here is the message:

So … what is a “-11% decrease”? Isn’t a negative decrease an increase? But that down arrow before the minus sign is bothersome as well. So, is it a down -11% decrease?

The subject of the email message was

Add skills like “Swing” to make your profile easier to find

Just very quickly: “like” doesn’t mean “such as”: “like” means “similar to but not x”, whereas “such as” means “x or similar”.

Second point: “Swing” should be in quotation marks if it’s a quote. Quotation marks are not for emphasizing words. (Yeah, and it’s ironic that this WordPress theme (Reddle) precedes block quotes with an open quote, leading to me wondering whether posting this would fail with the message “error: missing unterminated ‘”‘ character”.)

Oh, and if you’re curious about my LinkedIn profile, here it is.

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