Whoever came up with the term “human factors” should be shot. Not only is it a stupid phrase, it almost wrecked my cool the other day. When I was growing up my sister was fond of telling me that things weren’t stupid, only people were stupid, but what does she know? Stupid sisters.
Halfway through a document I came across the term “human factors” and I stopped and cursed the author for being a totally inept user of the English language. There is a very small portion of my brain that deals with reasonableness. It urged me to look it up and for a wonder I listened to it and googled the phrase.
Thank god for Google, it saved me from querying the author about this awkward phrase that ends up being an entire field of study. More than one field of study, actually. It turns out human factors is the study of human ability and capacity, as well as the study of ergonomics. Clearly it was a term dreamed up by engineers.
How did copyeditors keep up their facade of intelligence before the Internet?