I had a weird experience with the word "copy". We use MS Exchange and Outlook, and all the email is stored on the server. Outlook is the client that views the email on the server.
A user was having some problems with it, and I said something like "well, it's just fixing it's copy of the email."
She then asked if she could delete the emails, since there's a copy on the server. I said, "no, if you do that, it'll delete it on the server too." She then said, "so it's not a copy."
Well, it's a synchronized copy. So it is a copy, but not a separate copy. But, this gave me some pause.
On a network, data is copied all the time. I refer to these copies as "copies". For example, I think of the data in your web browser's cache as a copy of the data on the server. You copy the page and graphics when you view the page. When you move a file across disks, you're copying it first.
This user, on the other hand, thinks that copies are objects which are separate, manipulable objects. Manipulating a copy will not cause the original to change... or the original will not overwrite the copy.
To avoid this kind of confusion in the future, what word should I use instead of "copy" or "to copy"?