January 11, 2008

Woids! Calling All Old, Non-Geeks.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:50 pm

I love woids. To me, they’re right up there with music and good whiskey. I am particularly taken with the emergence of new words, or the use of old words, but with new meanings. The information age has brought us both.

I got to thinking about how many computer-related words I know now that either didn’t exist when I was in high school (three years after the invention of fire), or which existed then, but meant something completely different from what they mean now.

So, for shits and giggles, I dashed off a few that came to mind. I have followed each one (in parentheses) with what the word would have meant to me in high school. Or, if it would have been a brand-new word, what I would have thought it meant.

Mind you, I am a techno-doofus, so I can only imagine how many examples of words like those in the following list a serious geek could come up with.

Feel free to do so.

Da List

Hardware (Tools, nails, clotheslines and other stuff you bought at a store with the same name)

geek (A guy who bites the heads off chickens)

mouse (Mickey)

mouse pad (Mickey’s house)

link (A part of a chain)

hyperlink (New word, but it could have meant a particularly nervous piece of a chain)

dot (The thing you put over the letter “i”)

click (It didn’t used to be a verb)

boot (Footwear or a verb meaning “to kick”)

re-boot (New word, but it could have meant to kick something again)

CD (Clive Davis’ initials)

DVD (A mistyped name of a brand of men’s underwear)

internet (New word, but it could have been a brand of hairspray)

web (Something a spider wove)

RAM (An animal or a verb)

DOS (New word, but it could have been the opposite of “DONTS”)

cursor (Someone who used foul language … sort of)

www (New word, but it could have been a Satanic symbol)

http (New word, but I would have thought it to be an obvious typo)

@ (Something seen only in arithmetic problems – “Joe bought three apples @ ten cents each …”)

screenshot (A new word, but it could have been a broken television — black and white, of course)

software (New word, but it could have meant things sold in a hardware store that weren’t hard)

hard drive (The trip from Jersey to Florida)

driver (The person behind the wheel)

c drive (New word, but it could have referred to a trip to California)

crash (Car accident)

blue screen of death (A matinee horror movie)

ROM (Mistyped man’s first name)

html (New word, but it could have been some shitty letters you were stuck with in Scrabble)

troll (A little rubber doll with porcine features and spiky hair)

spam (A meat-like product in a can)

spoof (A new word, but it could have been a special type of goof)

hack (A verb, a taxi, a shitty writer, or a Jersey politician)

firewall (The thing in a car between you and the engine)

security patch (A piece of material sewn over the hole in the seat of your jeans)

e-mail (A new word, but it could have meant European mail)

photoshop (A place where you had film developed)

hibernate (What bears do)

lurk (What shifty-eyed characters do)

dialogue box (New word, but it could have been a talking carton)

window (The glass-covered hole in the wall)

virus (Something that gave you a fever and made you puke)

worm (An annelid, often used as bait)

malware (New word, but it could have been one of Flash Gordon’s enemies)

spyware (New word, but it could have been James Bond’s dinner service)

blackberry (A fruit)

Trojan horse (The thing the soldiers hid in)

diskette (New word, but it could be something thrown in a children’s Olympic event)

Outlook (One’s take on the future)

Apple (A fruit that when eaten daily kept the doctor away)

podcast (New word, but it could have been a thrown thing in which peas grow)

blog (New word, but it could have been the stuff that comes out your nose when you sneeze)

website (New word, but it could have been the location of a spider’s home)

home page (New word, which would have made about as much sense as, say, “distant basket”)

hotlink (Italian sausage)

server (Waiter or waitress)

browser (A guy who reads magazines in the store)

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