Sometimes finding the right words for a feature is a bit of a challenge. "Unsharp Mask," for instance, is a perfect example: a classically trained photographer may immediately get the reference, while other users are left saying, "Sooo… To sharpen something, I choose ‘Unsharp…?’" Working vocabularies vary by user.
We ran into a one of these cases with the local contrast enhancement control added to the just-released Camera Raw 4.1. Figuring that "local contrast enhancement control" was a tad wordy, the team went looking for alternatives. One candidate was "Acutance"–a term familiar to some photographers, but far from universally understood. The candidate I really favored was "Punch": the slider tends to make an image look punchier. Unfortunately, the prospect of translating this idiosyncratic term into French, German, Japanese, etc. made it lose ground. The simpler "Clarity" ultimately prevailed.
In the course of the conversation, Camera Raw engineer Zalman Stern offered some good quips. "We could always translate "punch" to "Umami" in Japanese…," he wrote. And later: "I was mostly joking in suggesting ‘Punch.’ But to take it to the next
level of impossible-to-translate, we obviously need two sliders, ‘l337’ and ‘Teh Suck.’ The latter only has negative values of course. The
documentation can link to urbandictionary.com." 🙂
Bonus, unrelated Zalman quote, apropos of something totally different: "Writing a compiler in Visual Basic seems more the sort of thing one does to impress Jodie Foster than a sound technical decision…"