Stop, Pause, Play

10 Feb 2010 - 11:27pm
4 years ago
7 replies
2078 reads
Stephen Holmes
2009

I'm doing research for a paper on international naming conventions
and how much the internet's use of english as a primary language has
affected other languages and cultures.

I'm starting with the universal icons and naming for the traditional
Stop (a square), Pause (two horizontal bars) and Play (a
right-pointing arrow). Do you think that these symbols are fully
universal or are there some cultural holdouts (different symbols) out
there that you know of?

Also interested in the language translations of Stop, Pause, Play to
see if there is language-specific translation that is being usurped by
the english equivalents.

regards

Stephen

Comments

10 Feb 2010 - 11:50pm
Richard Carson
2010

In my country, Pause is usually two vertical bars. two horizontal bars would mean an equal sign.

On Feb 10, 2010, at 8:27 PM, Stephen Holmes wrote:

> On Feb 10, 2010, at 8:27 PM, Stephen Holmes wrote:

> I'm starting with the universal icons and naming for the traditional
> Stop (a square), Pause (two horizontal bars) and Play (a
> right-pointing arrow). Do you think that these symbols are fully
> universal or are there some cultural holdouts (different symbols) out
> there that you know of?

10 Feb 2010 - 11:54pm
Stephen Holmes
2009

Ooops - my bad - yes the Pause bars are vertical here as well (not
horizontal!

Stephen

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11 Feb 2010 - 7:05am
Cennydd Bowles
2009

Somwhere in the fuzziness of my brain I recall a workshop with (I think)
Chris Nodder from NN/g, in which he claimed that Play and Stop are the only
two globally-recognised symbols, with Pause largely known but not universal.
Other symbols (Forward, Reverse etc) are not widely recognised.

Don't quote me though.

Cennydd

On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 8:27 PM, Stephen Holmes <stephenwholmes at me.com>wrote:

> I'm doing research for a paper on international naming conventions
> and how much the internet's use of english as a primary language has
> affected other languages and cultures.
>
> I'm starting with the universal icons and naming for the traditional
> Stop (a square), Pause (two horizontal bars) and Play (a
> right-pointing arrow). Do you think that these symbols are fully
> universal or are there some cultural holdouts (different symbols) out
> there that you know of?
>
> Also interested in the language translations of Stop, Pause, Play to
> see if there is language-specific translation that is being usurped by
> the english equivalents.
>
> regards
>
> Stephen
> ________________________________________________________________
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12 Feb 2010 - 8:39am
Donna Colarossi
2009

I am in Canada and those icons are pretty standard up here.

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14 Feb 2010 - 11:56pm
Himanshu Agrawal
2009

me from India,
and these icons works in the same way over here too

On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 11:09 AM, donna colarossi <
donna.colarossi at scotiabank.com> wrote:

> I am in Canada and those icons are pretty standard up here.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=49257
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Himanshu Agrawal
B.Arch, M.Des(IIT-Kanpur)
+91 9005 850 301

15 Feb 2010 - 12:12pm
Anonymous

Hi Stephen,

In Spain the symbols you mention are used, but I think they pre-date
the internet as they were already on cassette and VHS players, so
maybe it's not the best example for the impact of the internet on
language (?). - Whether the internet and sites like YouTube have
consolidated the use these of these icons could be another matter.

In terms of language, it's true that the word "play" has entered
the Spanish (spoken) language (whether due to cassette players or
later technology, I don't know), but interestingly enough I would
say it is not used as a verb, but rather as the name of the button
(or icon).

The verb "to play" in this sense would be "reproducir". But you
could tell someone to "dale al play" or "hit play". I guess
these words are/were printed on a lot of tape recorders, CD players
etc and that's why.

The verb "pausar" already exists in Spanish, so doesn't really
change from the original Spanish as the words are so similar.
"Stop" already existed (seen on road signs for example).

Hope that helps!

Elizabeth

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15 Feb 2010 - 12:48pm
Chris Nodder
2010

@ Cennydd - iPod ubiquity changed the old research findings. 10 years
ago "normal" people weren't too aware of the different transport
controls (especially the more esoteric ones such as next
track/previous track). Now, a larger number use them on a daily
basis. Of course, you could still screw things up with poor button
placement.
What I would point out in training sessions is that the red circle,
when seen on its own, is often associated with "stop", but in
transport controls it means "record". Of course in the days of
physical controls you had to also hold down play to make record work,
so the cost of the error would be lower.

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