back to article I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

Would you mind leveraging a time unit while I ideate my ecosystem? Sorry, I meant to say “Give me a minute while I sort my things out” but I’ve been writing a lot about disruptive technology this week. I must have zoned while dogfooding my hume-code for bugs… er, I mean “got carried away while proofreading my articles for …


  1. m0rt Silver badge

    First post! flashback....wonder if that is still a thing?

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: First post!

      Still a few people there, and republishing of the old strips. Not even close to what it used to be, but the folding@home and digital photo club at least are not quite dead yet.

    2. Vulch

      Re: First post!

      Mostly recycling old strips these days, I think the author had an attack of real life. There do seem to be the occasional new ones, or maybe it's just coincidental what goes around comes around.

    3. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Userfriendly is very definitely still a thing. Indeed, it exists perpetually, outside ordinary time. As Symmachus said of myths, it is something that never was but always is.

    4. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: First post!

      Nice Beaver!

  2. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Normally I abhor backronyms

    But this one is beautiful.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Normally I abhor backronyms

      MYaaRS it is...

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge


        Doesn't Ricky Tomlinson have copyright on that.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You should remember that the yew is poisonous to those who consume it.

    1. Teknogrot

      Re: yewtreeing

      Feature, not a bug.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: yewtreeing

      yew is poisonous to those who consume it

      Except the berries - those are safe. Sadly, the stones in the berries are not safe and will kill you fairly quickly.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: yewtreeing

      On the other hand, the wood can make an excellent bow and also the arrows.

  4. hplasm Silver badge


    Don't get this - how can G(raphics) be pronounced as JIF.

    Don't use Jraffics for anything...

    Wilhite is wronj!

    1. Toltec

      Re: Gif.

      Giraffe International Feed?

      Come to think of it shouldn't it be pronounced 'siff' given the well known cleaning product changed its name because people couldn't handle saying JIF?

      1. Adrian Harvey

        Re: Gif.

        Oddly enough was only changed in the UK. Or at least it's still called Jif both where I live and other international destinations where I have had cause to wander into a supermarket... see by way of a citation.

        1. ChrisElvidge

          Re: Gif.

          A few years ago, when I was living in Dubai, we had both JIF and CIF on the same supermarket shelves at the same time, at different prices.

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Gif.

      This reminds me of the story of the naming of the quark.

      Murray Gell-Mann who came up with it pronounced it "kwawk".

      The origin of the word is in Finnegans Wake where the seagulls cry "Three quarks for Musther Mark" - there being three quarks, of course, in a nucleon.

      When it was pointed out to MGM that in Joyce's Dublin accent "Quark" rhymes with "ark" (and of course with Mark) he is said to have denied having ever come across the word in Joyce and having invented it himself de novo. Of course it is impossible to doubt the word of a great physicist who is also an expert in the pronunciation of many languages. And happens, see the fine article, to be American.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Quark

        Well, that's one story. Quark can mean a lot of things.

    3. ZanzibarRastapopulous

      Re: Gif.

      A long time ago I had a job interview with a goon who insisted on pronouncing ISAPI as if it were a word.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gif.

        You mean it isn't a word?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gif.

        And what about .exe : like (s)exy, or as "dot eeks"? And .lib : "dot lib" or "dot libe" (from library)?

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Gif.

      "how can G(raphics) be pronounced as JIF."

      it could be worse - they might be pronouncing SQL as "Sequel".

      Yeah, it's pronounced Es Queue El for those who didn't know. The other pronunciation, which is _REALLY_ IBM market-speak from the late 80's/early 90's, is like nails on a chalkboard in intelligent or technical conversation. Yes, I'm compelled to stop things and correct the error, and have done so on a few occasions...

      And yeah, it's "GUIFF" with a hard 'G'. Soft-G fascists simply can't figure out what the G stands for...

      [I'll continue to use PING and JAY-PEGG files anyway - they're better for my needs]

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gif.

        > "Soft-G fascists simply can't figure out what the G stands for..."

        Beat me to it. I guess some consider it the job of the letter "J." Nonsense! It's my basic write as a human bean to use G the way it was meant to be used, and that's golly hard!

      2. DWRandolph

        Re: Gif.

        I was in a group that pronounced SQL as "squeal", because it was such a pig on resources :{

    5. Midnight

      Re: Gif.

      <quote>Don't get this - how can G(raphics) be pronounced as JIF.</quote>

      The same way that the format created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group isn't pronounced Juh'Feg.

  5. vilemeister

    A whole article dedicated to setting up a joke. Excellent.

  6. Laura Kerr

    "Leveraging a time unit"

    I'm nicking that for the current script I'm writing. Well played, Mr Dabbs!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Leveraging a time unit"

      It's got undertow.

  7. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge


    "I appreciate that I might be using some of these IT development expressions incorrectly, and some probably didn’t exist at all until I made them up just now."

    Thank Beelzebub for that. I started reading, couldn't understand a thing and had a cold shiver at the thought that I'd turned into a 45 yr old IT dinosaur.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Phew!!!

      "I started reading, couldn't understand a thing"

      The worrying thing is that I can't tell which of them he did make up and which he didn't.

    2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Phew!!!


      We 60yo primordial slime don't think much of your patronizing us. Get off my lawn!


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Phew!!!

        I prefer "primordial ooze." Slime has a negative connotation.

  8. PhilipN Silver badge

    Bill Murray

    I fancy Dabbsy could deliver his first sentence - “Would you...” - at the same totally deadpan and p***-taking level of BM.

    Thought of it because the photo reminded of the gopher in Caddyshack or - no - Punxsatawny Phil ...

    Or maybe my mother-in-law.

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

      Re: Bill Murray

      *Insert off-colour joke about Mother-In-Laws and Beavers here*

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Bill Murray

        "*Insert off-colour joke about Mother-In-Laws and Beavers here*"

        I'm sorry, joke mothers in law and sex are disjoint sets.

      2. Pedigree-Pete
        Thumb Up

        Re: Bill Murray

        Where is Les Dawson when you need him....

        PP RIP.

  9. Fihart

    Social ineptitude vs. human frailty

    Doubtless the problem is that the sort of people who can cope with writing code are not very good at relating to actual people. Apple, who are generally good making technology accessible, are guilty of some of the worst bits of nonsense I've come across.

    iTunes is simply the least intuitive piece of commercial software I've encountered. It seems designed to frustrate any attempt to copy pictures, text or music to Apple devices. I live in an urban area where traffic noise can be so loud that Apple's standard iPhone ringtones are inaudible. Copying custom ringtones to the iPhone was a ridiculous process that doesn''t always seem to work. On Android, it's just drag and drop.

    The Guardian complains today that Apple's frequent demands that users supply an Apple ID not only disrupts work but leaves users security vulnerable to spoof sign-in demands.

    Recently I tried to help a friend set up a new iPad. At some point we came up against the Apple ID issue. Being non computer literate my friend had probably set up an Apple ID but only had a vague idea whether or what it was. Then, either instead or in addition, the iPad wanted a phone number. At this point I gave up and merely got the iPad working as best I could and advised my friend to take the damn thing back to the Apple shop and get them to set up the rest of it.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. EddieD


    SQL. Discuss.

    1. KjetilS

      Re: Hmm.

      If it's from Oracle, the official pronunciation is "squeel" (because it's what you do after they tell you to bend over).

      If it's from any other vendor, I prefer "ess-cue-ell"

    2. sandman

      Re: Hmm.

      Ah, I see you're trying to start a war. ;-)

      1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

        Re: Hmm.

        "Ah, I see you're trying to start a war. ;-)"

        Anyone else read this and suddenly remember that annoying "Clippy" bastard?!

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Hmm.

        "Ah, I see you're trying to start a war. ;-)"

        No, just flushing out of the woodwork those of use who know that SEQL is quite different from SQL and have in the past actually had to distinguish them in speech.

        (Monty Widenius calls it my-ess-queue-ell, and he cannot be wrong.)

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: Hmm.

          "and have in the past actually had to distinguish them in speech."

          when someone first mentioned "Sequel Server" to me ~1990, I couldn't figure out what it was, where to find it, or who to buy it from. IBM allegedly made it, but no literature on it in the back of PC mag or anything even REMOTELY related. If it had been called "Es Queue El" Server, then I might have been able to find it. But the "Sequel" thing was I.B.M. "Market Speak", in the worst possible way.

          And I stop conversations in order to correct the pronunciation of 'Es Queue El'. And it's 'My Es Queue El' no matter WHAT anyone says about it. .Calling it anything else invites me to become a GRAMMAR NAZI.

          1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

            Re: Hmm.

            "But the "Sequel" thing was I.B.M. "Market Speak", in the worst possible way."

            Will you all get your messy acronyms off my lawn. I'm tired of cleaning them up with my Hoover.

    3. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

      Re: Hmm.


      1. teebie

        Re: Hmm.

        How do Germans pronounce SQL?

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Hmm.


          In Italian it's the same as English, but you have to gesticulate whilst saying it.

        2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: Hmm.

          "How do Germans pronounce SQL?"

          Eß - Kuh - Ell, obviously.

          Best regards, Derek Nippl-e


POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019