Scrolling Direction

I think a new convention is needed. Being a somewhat literal interpreter of language and also because I like playing devil’s advocate I cause confusion when asked to “scroll up” my computer screen. As part of my job I regularly project my computer screen and write on the display using Microsoft OneNote. Sometimes it is requested of me to show more of my previous writing because those who should be following my work are a little slow.

Can you scroll up please

This is what I will be asked to do and although I understand the intention (to see what I wrote earlier) I irritate by moving the display on the screen so that the “paper” moves up. This is, of course, the opposite of what was being asked.

My argument to my followers is that in the days of paper scrolls being asked to scroll up would have moved the paper up and so would allow more of the bottom of the paper to be seen. I honestly do not know what should be the correct way to move the “paper”. If I was asked:

Can you move the scroll bar up please

I would say that is pretty unambiguous. Moving the scroll bar up has the desired effect. Or perhaps if I was asked:

Could you move the screen down so I can see the earlier work please

Again, it is quite clear what the intention of this statement is. I guess one of the lovely things about language is how vague and foggy it can be. It takes time and clarity of thought and interpretation to say exactly what you mean.

The offending item:

Scroll bar