System Development – Terms for 1st and 2nd Persons

When creating customized software, care should be taken in selecting terms to be used.  Exactly the same term could have different meaning depending on whether it is from point of view of 1st or 2nd persons.  Developed software of course should consistently use the point of view of the 1st person or the system owner.

Thanks to my senior System Analyst explaining it to me long ago.  The best example for the same term with different meaning, depending on 1st or 2nd person, is "Payment".

As far as point of view of 1st person is concerned, "Payment" is the amount the person has to pay.  It is, in many instances though, being used instead as the amount paid by the 2nd person, i.e. not actually "my payment" but rather "their payment".  For "their payment", as far as the 1st person is concerned, the correct term should instead be "my receipt".

I’m not sure if the point being conveyed is clear enough.  Just always take the system owner as the 1st person and the rest as the 2nd persons.  Always use the term that is point of view of the 1st person.


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