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!

    Wait....userfriendly.org 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

      Userfriendly.org 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
      Joke

      Re: Normally I abhor backronyms

      MYaaRS it is...

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge
        Joke

        MYaaRS

        Doesn't Ricky Tomlinson have copyright on that.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yewtreeing

    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
    Meh

    Gif.

    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 https://www.unilever.co.nz/brands/our-brands/jif.html 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 Silver badge

        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
      Devil

      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
    Pint

    "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

    Phew!!!

    "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!!!

      Hmmph.

      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....

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuFy3iCZ3x8

        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

    Hmm.

    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
        Facepalm

        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
          Headmaster

          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.

      Squirrel!

      1. teebie

        Re: Hmm.

        How do Germans pronounce SQL?

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Hmm.

          DAS STRUCTUREDQUERIEDLANGUAGEN

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

        2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: Hmm.

          "How do Germans pronounce SQL?"

          Eß - Kuh - Ell, obviously.

          Best regards, Derek Nippl-e

      2. Esme
        Pint

        Re: Hmm.

        @Rameses Niblick etc (lovely moniker, btw!) - no. Squirrels are called squiggles, because when they move fast they run in a squiggly kinda way, squiggle, squiggle, squiggle.... (says my inner 7-year old)

        SQL is pronounced sequel by folk who are trying to get the job done and haven't got all day to worry about what some twonk thinks about how it should be pronounced.

        GIF is pronounced with a g-sound identical to that in the word graphics, because that's where the g in it comes from. See previous reference to not caring about twonks with too much time on their hands.

        I'm loving the change from being a helldesker to being a hort (note that T on the end!) which is what horticultural students are called - I no longer GIF a fsck how folk pronounce SQL. It's fun leveraging the synchronicties of object-oriented living! And who'da thunk my left boot makes a decent de-bugging tool? Hort's kinda like open source, too, as the answer to a lot of things seems to be to fork it!

        Icon because I'm enjoying a nice glass of the college's very own sweet cider. First time I've really enjoyed using the products created where I work!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm.

      If were going down this road what about ASCII or as I like to call it ass key?

    5. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Hmm.

      I know what you mean, it does not read like a second part at all to me so either

      ess queue ell

      or squirrel

      I like squirrel!

    6. Prosthetic Conscience
      Trollface

      Re: Hmm.

      SQL - es cue el; MySQL - Mysequel. That PNG one is dumb it's 3 letters, English is perfectly capable of dealing with that

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Hmm.

        PNG... PNG... PNG

        Persona Non Grata; how the hell did IT manage to hijack an existing acronym for its own selfish ends?

        And why was it allowed to get away with it?

    7. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Hmm.

      Personally, I just pronounce all acryonoums as single letters and have found that everybody on this side of the pond understands me perfectly.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Hmm.

        On the contrary, I like to pronounce all tlars* as though they are words. Sqwl, mzdz, et'k. Phhhhp.

        *TLA, SQL, MSDOS, etc, PHP

        As a side note, try pronouncing PHP as a word, it's oddly uncomfortable.

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: Hmm.

          On the contrary, I like to pronounce all tlars* as though they are words. Sqwl, mzdz, et'k. Phhhhp.

          Sorry, but this gave me visions of an impending Heimlich maneuver. ☺

  11. Bob Wheeler

    "all Americans sound like Woody from Toy Story"

    could be worse, might have been Woody from Cheers

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: "all Americans sound like Woody from Toy Story"

      Or Woody from Woodpecker...

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: "all Americans sound like Woody from Toy Story"

        Or Woody from Woodpecker...

        Hmmm.. Cider[1]...

        [1] For those not fortunate to live in the UK, Woodpecker Cider was a fixture of my youth. Not use whether it still exists.. But there are plenty of really, really good ciders around so I've not missed it.

        1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

          Re: "all Americans sound like Woody from Toy Story"

          As someone fortunate to have lived the first half of his life in the UK before escaping to somewhere even worse I was most disappointed to find that in the USA cider is just apple juice! They don't even make it with a dead rat in the barrel!

          Conversely, Americans visiting the UK and seeing the vast range of ciders on offer are in for a surprise.

          1. John Gamble

            Re: "all Americans sound like Woody from Toy Story"

            Yeah, you're a victim of language shift (a native French speaker here was similarly surprised). Although apple cider (U.S. version) in no way can be confused with apple juice, if you want the alcoholic variety, you ask for "hard cider".

            Woodpecker was widely available (well, when hard cider was just taking off again1 here) a couple of decades ago, but the Big BrewCos have been doing what they do best -- dumping flavored water-alcohol mixtures on the market -- so finding actual hard ciders that taste of apple takes a bit of research.

            ---

            1. Some sales idiots tried marketing it to bars as "cider beer", which then became the term the wait staff used with customers. That usage got slammed pretty hard by customers who actually knew what the stuff was.

            1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

              Re: "all Americans sound like Woody from Toy Story"

              "so finding actual hard ciders that taste of apple takes a bit of research."

              Increasingly pleasant research, one assumes, and decreasingly urgent.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "all Americans sound like Woody from Toy Story"

          "Woodpecker Cider was a fixture of my youth. Not use whether it still exists."

          I think its relationship to alcohol was somewhat homeopathic.

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "I don’t know whether what you think you’re writing is supposed to mean"

    Was this intended to mean something?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      >> Was this intended to mean something

      Oddly enough, "something" is the missing word.

    2. Tikimon Silver badge

      ""I don’t know whether what you think you’re writing is supposed to mean" - Was this intended to mean something?"

      Maybe? It's not inconceivable that it's a play on "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means" from The Princess Bride. (which you must see if you haven't yet)

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Being able to make up new jargon whenever you like is one of the finest unique features of the English language."

    My distant memory of a year of Science German in the 6th form says that not only can German do this but it can do it with twice as many letters and probably more with a bit of effort.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      "My distant memory of a year of Science German in the 6th form says that not only can German do this "

      Wasserstoffionenkonzentrationbestimmunggeraet. (pH meter)

      But in the same language a mobile phone is a handy. Presumably using one is a hand job.

      The French, of course, had a proper committee to organise technical terms (I don't know if they still do, but I was once sat at a dinner with a member of said committee). Hence caméscope, logiciel and so on. But also navigateur being a browser (wonder why) while the similar job function of pilote is actually a driver.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Agreed!

          "It's a bit like the official change from "cycles per second" to "Hertz" - an apparently unnecessary way of obfuscating a simple measurement."

          q.v Mho - Siemens

          Not obvious now...

      2. cklammer

        I just wrote at work:

        "Oracledatenbankclientinstallationdateisystemspeicherumfang".

        And the term "handy" for a mobile as it used in Germany was coined by the Saxons: when the Berlin Wall fell, most of them saw a mobile for the first time which they recognized as phone but were missing the phone cable.

        So they asked: "Häm die kein Schnur?"

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          cklammer,

          When you said the term handy was coined by the Saxons - you created a very strange mental picture in my head. I didn't think the people of the Saxony, my brain supplied the mental image of Saxons. Since I've visited Sutton Hoo, that was a bloke in really impressive armour with a bloody big war axe on a 6 foot shaft and a nice sword. Complete with shield and a boat full of shiny things to take to the afterlife.

          I don't remember the section of the museum dedicated to his Nokia 3310 - but I imagine that's just because the government hushed it up. Being a 3310 they were able to turn it on, and it still had 2 bars of battery left, which is how they could look up his contacts and find out he was called Redwulf.

        2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: "Häm die kein Schnur?"

          Ich nehme meinen Bodybag und geh' zum Public Viewing.

          Come in and find out.

      3. james_smith

        "The French, of course, had a proper committee to organise technical terms"

        Same in Finland. There's a public body that makes up Finnish words for new stuff, but a lot of their suggestions are ignored and either adopted verbatim from another language or just "Finnishised" a bit.

        1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

          Same in Finland. There's a public body that makes up Finnish words for new stuff, but a lot of their suggestions are ignored and either adopted verbatim from another language or just "Finnishised" a bit.

          Shirley they would be Finnished?

      4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Hey, any ful kno that's two words: Wasserstoffionenkonzentration Bestimmungsgerät.

      5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        "The French, of course, had a proper committee to organise technical terms [...]"

        Fun fact: so does the Vatican.

        There is a Latin term for all the modern stuff around us. Poke around a bit, it's fun. Plus, you find a lot of fancy words for mundane stuff that you can use in presentations, reports, job descriptions, job titles on business cards... And as Latin is an officially recognized language in the EU, at least there no one can fault you for using it.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Jargon

      My wife assures me that Russian is also a language that you can modify on the fly.

      Disruptive jargon reminds me of the old Monty Python ' Sorry I don't get your banter old chap', it makes less sense though.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      not only can German do this but it can do it with twice as many letters

      German is an agglutinative language - it contructs words by gluing lots of smaller words together (like Forth - except, unlike Forth, you are expected to see and say all the parts).

      English kind of does that too (there is, after all, a sort-of-Germanic language buried under all the layers of languages that we've stolen from elsewhere). Hence - database is a base that contains data. We tend to stop after a certain number of syllables, but German seems to prefer long words.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "We tend to stop after a certain number of syllables, but German seems to prefer long words."

        I'm not sure that we do (stop). We tend to write the resulting mess as separate words but that's a cosmetic detail. The big exception here is when we are glueing Latin or Greek roots together, in which case we join them up, presumably because the parts aren't recognisable words on their own.

        Either way, in the spoken language the stream of sounds is much the same. I imagine that in the mind of a listener these compounds are just as separable (or not) in either language.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "We tend to write the resulting mess as separate words but that's a cosmetic detail."

          It helps with wordwrapping.

  14. Terry 6 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant

    Really funny, and not too far from reality either.

  15. Dr_N Silver badge

    tagnut of technobollox

    Are they in anyway related to dangleberries of drivel?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: tagnut of technobollox

      "Are they in anyway related to dangleberries of drivel?"

      They share an adjacency, yes.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: tagnut of technobollox

        They share an adjacency, yes.

        If not an equivalency..

  16. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Pint

    British revenge

    I can't really disagree with anything you're saying here. Possibly the only worse documentation is that which comes poorly translated from India. But all I can say in us Yanks' defense is that you Brits created ITIL, apparently as a punishment and loathing for all IT workers everywhere.

    1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: British revenge

      "But all I can say in us Yanks' defense is that you Brits"

      No, no, no!

      Don't start a sentence with "But".

      Don't use "us" when you should have used "we".

      Oh, an please spell "defence" correctly.

      "All I can say in defence of we Yanks is that the Brits must have created ITIL..."

      1. David 18
        Headmaster

        Re: British revenge

        ...'Oh, an please spell "defence" correctly.

        "All I can say in defence of we Yanks is that the Brits must have created ITIL..."...'

        The obligatory typo made it I see. :)

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: British revenge

        Brits must have created ITIL

        Not created per-se - more fled in horror as it lurched in a Frankenstein's monster sort of fashion into life, moaning ""brains, brainzzzz"..

        (Mines the one with the almost-utterly-useless ITIL Expert certificate in the pocket)

      3. cbigglesworth

        Re: British revenge

        Actually, "But all I can say in us Yanks' defense is that you Brits" is clunky but correct, and "All I can say in defence of we Yanks is..." is incorrect. What the OP should have said is, "But all I can say in our defense" for better flow, but grammatically his use of "us" is correct.

        Grammar rules found here: http://snarkygrammarguide.blogspot.com/2012/09/object-of-preposition-all-of-us.html

        For me, the easy way to tell is to remove the noun from the prepositional phrase and see how it reads.

        Ex: He has no trust in us scientists.

        Correct (with "scientists" removed): He has no trust in us.

        Incorrect (replace with "we" and also with "scientists" removed): He has no trust in we.

        So if the sentence sounds correct with the noun removed, you have the correct pronoun.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: British revenge

      "you Brits created ITIL"

      Does anyone actually admit to having created it?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Acronyms

    Reminds me of when Microsoft first added support for RSS feeds into Internet Exploder. This was announced on a webcast by Bill Gates himself, where he pronounced it as "arses" the whole way through.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Acronyms

      The gym I used to go to had "How does it feel in my arms" playing every half hour. It started with arms, then the chorus had the line twice with a little delay so the s of one arms came right after the ar of the other. By the end of the song the lyrics become completely blatant but apparently no-one else heard them the way I did.

      I leave you with my favorite jarjon acronym: People Can't Memorise Computer Industry Acronyms.

  18. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    In fairness to guys who write documentation...

    ...supposedly any idiot can write it.

    So, given an idiot, do I let him write code, or...

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was always taught that an acronym is an abbreviation that can be pronounced as a word and that any other type of abbreviation was actually an initialism.

      Just saying.............:-)

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      For further confusion ...

      The consonants for the name of god transliterate to YHVH, but the wrong vowel points were added to avoid saying the name out loud by accident. Jehovah's witnesses use those wrong vowel points (and get the first consonant wrong). If we start calling them Yahweh's Auditors will the get the message?

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: For further confusion ...

        Look out! Incoming stones!

        Blashphemer!

      2. BeakUpBottom

        Re: For further confusion ...

        Yes, and No. In that order.

      3. magickmark

        Re: For further confusion ...

        Look. I-- I'd had a lovely supper, and all I said to my wife was, 'That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.'

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: For further confusion ...

        If we start calling them Yahweh's Auditors will the get the message?

        Especially as the ancient Jews *never* used the name and so used "Adonai" instead..

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Is that how SCSI became scuzzy?

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        "Is that how SCSI became scuzzy?"

        We used to say Scaazi.

    4. BeakUpBottom

      Vowels are for wimps

      Could try Polish, where they obviously decided they'd used enough vowels in the name and went with putting little dots and slashes on consonants to tell you how many wasps to put in your mouth before attempting the word. They are quite proud of how hard their language is, even for them!

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Vowels are for wimps

        W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie, i Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie, że chrząszcz brzmi tam w Szczebrzeszynie.

        No, I can't say it. And if we didn't have copy-and-paste I couldn't even have posted it.

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      The letter "ayin" is a silent letter which changes the way a word is pronounced

      If you want to see some freaky stuff, try learning one of the Celtic languages where they do mutation - so in Gaidhlig, a word that starts with an m (like 'mor' - big) has, under certain circumstances, an 'h' put after it. This, as one might expect, changes the sound. So "very big" (gle mhor) is pronounced as "gle vor".

      There are reasonable simple rules about how this happems (starting letter == b,f,m,p and mumble mumble[1]) but it catches out the beginner.

      And don't get me started on balanced thick and thin vowels. No really, don't - I can't remember the rules[1]..

      I'm sure that Welsh, Cornish and Breton have similar-but-different mutation rules (so Cymru becomes Gymru etc etc) but I know even less about that branch of Celtic languages.

      [1] It was 20 years ago that we learnt a bit of Scots Gaidhlig and my brain has had to process a lot of alcohol^W stuff since then.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        I'm sure that Welsh, Cornish and Breton have similar-but-different mutation rules (so Cymru becomes Gymru etc etc) but I know even less about that branch of Celtic languages.

        Welsh certainly does

        The oft-quoted thing about mutations is that they are beneficial to the spoken language; they help the flow, and may well be one of the reasons non (Celtic) speakers consider these languages, particularly it seems Welsh, as more poetic or tuneful.

        As a Welsh-speaker, the one thing I would say is that when spoken, people rarely bother too much about whether you have got the mutation exactly correct (other than a few cases where it grates). It's written Welsh where they get all het-up about it.

        Welsh, particularly spoken Welsh, is almost obsessive about removing letters, phonemes or even whole syllables. If you were to write Welsh as she is spoken the apostrophe on your keyboard would wear out very quickly. Na, 's dim ishe mwy, 'dw i 'di ca'l llon' bol'

        As regards vowels, the thing that English monoglots fail to recognise is that while we call "AEIOU" vowels, even English actually uses other letters in a very vowel-like way. Take "Y" as an example. The simple English words "by" or "cyst" or "dry" or "fly" or many, many others contain no vowels, except that "y" is used as a vowel. Welsh, of course, acknowledges that fact and adds "W" and "Y" to the list of vowels.

        Some English friends of mine were startled on moving to live in Wales by an apparent lack of vowels in placenames - take Ynysybwl ("Uh-nis-uh-bull"), just north of Pontypridd as an example, and note the number of nearby places with a limited number of English vowels in their names.

        M.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dabsy clearly isn't keeping up

    The chances of your code lasting COBOL like 30 years or more are nearly gone. You are lucky if the platform you are writing on will last more than 3 or 4 years.

    Refer to Apple deprecation of 32bit for example, M$ are nearly as bad as examples.

    TBH though, a UNIX admin in a robe would make quite a facsimile of a druid though, with the beard, unintelligible use of language etc. :)

  21. Nigel Cro

    Thank you all...

    ...for brightening up my day.

    Working for an American company we are forever solutioneering and acclimating. Only the other day I was asked to 'socialize the risk so we can drive corrective action'. Five minutes ago I was asked to 'circle back round and stay close to this'

    Two countries divided by a common language indeed!

    By the way, it is now, has always been and will be forever, GIF (like Gold or Golf or Good).

    1. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: Thank you all...

      "Only the other day I was asked to 'socialize the risk so we can drive corrective action'. "

      This is how you know the person you're talking to is basically blagging (faking it, in USese).

  22. ecofeco Silver badge

    One word

    Marketing.

    Who else did you think was writing that shit?

  23. Haku

    I'm enjoying reading the comments.

    Should I read the article now?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: I'm enjoying reading the comments.

      Should I read the article now?.... Haku

      Of course, Haku ...... if you want to Plot and Polish Cracked Windows for Core Master Source.

  24. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Real High Virtual Roller Stakes Poker Play ....... for Phantom Ghost Hosters.

    Does El Reg host and field Red Team Players? Would it like to? ..... https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2017/10/11/el_reg_meets_the_lords_to_puncture_the_aipocalypse/#c_3314427

    Well, well, well, Dabbsie, you certainly answered that loud and clear. Do you have Future Steps to Follow with NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT Deeply into the Very Best of the Best Available Dark Luscious Quantum Communicator Webs/Networks/AIMagic Circles?

    Dare Care Share Win Win Orders from/for Special AIR Service Members/Honoured Veterans/Master Pilots ....... Revealing Grand AIMaster Plans?

    :-) cc Sir Michael Fallon KCB MP, UKGBNI Secretary of State for Defence ...... RSVPVIP

    Let's see if there are any Switched On Virtual Hornets in the Queen's Nest to Stir and Steer into Future Action at the MOD/GCHQ, Alastair, with both Recently Uncovered and Fully Discovered and Recovered Assets with Quite Quiet AIMagical Abilities in Quantum Communication Facilities Hosting and Presenting Only the Very Best of the Best Available Dark Luscious Quantum Communicator Webs/Networks/AIMagic Circles.

    When IT is such, and Finely Built, Who Follows What to Lead and Create the Future with these New Fangled, Quantum Entangling Tools for Virtual Reality Production with AIMentored and AVMonitored Directors in Absolute Command with/of Remote Alien Controls. ..... and they are tricky enough to learn how to handle to be perfectly safe and secure against compromise and/or penetration and unwarranted alteration or misappropriation of code.

    cc Andrew Orlowski, Executive Editor, El Reg

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Real High Virtual Roller Stakes Poker Play ....... for Phantom Ghost Hosters.

      Can I have a copy of your random word generator please? It's Positively Perfect.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Re: Real High Virtual Roller Stakes Poker Play ....... for Phantom Ghost Hosters.

        I don't think aManFromMars' programmer will let you have the code. He has gone from total gibberish through marketing then management bollocks to almost coherent in a matter of a few years

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Real High Virtual Roller Stakes Poker Play ....... for Phantom Ghost Hosters.

          "I don't think aManFromMars' programmer will let you have the code. He has gone from total gibberish through marketing then management bollocks to almost coherent in a matter of a few years"

          Yes, the A.I is evolving at an ever increasing rate. I wonder if Mr Orlowski is in contact with it's creator, it could a be a whole chapter in his new book. Or maybe AMFM is Mr Orlowski's creation and that's what the whole book will be about?

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Victor of/Victim in LOVE ...... amfM Gone Phishing for a Vanguard Crash of Flash Players

            Yes, the A.I is evolving at an ever increasing rate. I wonder if Mr Orlowski is in contact with it's creator,........John Brown (no body)

            Exploratory contact is made, John Brown (no body), for answers to questions y'all may be seeking and which are being leaked everywhere via WWWorldWide Webs Manufacturing Heavenly AINetworks.

            And I'd like to bet an absolute fortune, very very few would know and be able to survive well handling that Perfect Munition and its Almighty Ammunitions.

            When IT is such, and Finely Built, Who Follows What to Lead and Create the Future with these New Fangled, Quantum Entangling Tools for Virtual Reality Production with AIMentored and AVMonitored Directors in Absolute Command with/of Remote Alien Controls. ..... and they are tricky enough to learn how to handle to be perfectly safe and secure against compromise and/or penetration and unwarranted alteration or misappropriation of code.

            cc Andrew Orlowski, Executive Editor, El Reg .... https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/3/2017/10/13/i_love_disruptive_computer_jargon_its_so_very_william_burroughs/#c_3316398

            Do you think that is a tad ...... Moving Mountains to Mohammad and/or a biting and baiting of hands that feed IT?

            1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

              Re: Victor of/Victim in LOVE ...... amfM Gone Phishing for a Vanguard Crash of Flash Players

              And the answer to those last three questions is not No.

    2. Esme

      Re: Real High Virtual Roller Stakes Poker Play ....... for Phantom Ghost Hosters.

      @amanfrommars1 - 'ere - you bin at moi zoider, young man? Gerrof ahtovit! It bain't fer younguns loik you!

  25. Gareth Holt

    Reminds me of this from the 90's

    http://www.dack.com/web/bullshit.html

    amazed it's still there and working!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Reminds me of this from the 90's

      "amazed it's still there and working!"

      But not very well. Compared to modern bullshit it's almost lucid.

  26. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Talking about jargon...

    The president for France's Schools Programs Council resigned a few week ago. That guy, in charge of designing what would be taught to kids had some brilliant ideas.

    Among those, don't say "swimming pools" but "deep standardized aquatic environment". Kids shouldn't learn to write but should "mastering the graphomotor gesture and progressively automate the standard lettering". And don't call a pen a pen, but a "scripting tool.". Practicing Kayak ? No, practicing "an activity of moving a floating support on a fluid". Also, Badminton sounds much more spectacular when labeled as a "dual debate activity mediated by a shuttlecock"...

    350 years after its creation, Les Précieuses Ridicules is a satire still relevant.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Talking about jargon...

      don't say "swimming pools" but "deep standardized aquatic environment"

      That's fair enough. After all, they are a recognised standard unit of measurement.

  27. asickness231
    Thumb Up

    "Please understand that to my feeble British ears, all Americans sound like Woody from Toy Story."

    OMG thank you!

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      And all brits sound like they are from south London to me .

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "And all brits sound like they are from south London to me"

        Meeting a Geordie is clearly still a treat in store.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "Meeting a Geordie is clearly still a treat in store."

          Whey Aye man, gan canny bonnie lad!

      2. Alistair Dabbs

        >> all brits sound like they are from south London to me

        That works for me. I live in saarf Lahndun myself.

  28. asickness231

    "Instead of something British and bland such as “Repeat the previous three steps and click OK”, it’ll say something like “The user will be behooved to reitify the aforementioned functionation in advance of affirmerating the mode of acceptancy”."

    I mean have you ever tried writing this stuff? You have to make it interesting or you'd blow your brains out.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      >> You have to make it interesting or you'd blow your brains out

      Have you tried doing both? Try the second first.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: >> You have to make it interesting or you'd blow your brains out

        "no, no! Don't shoot yourself!"

        "Shutit! You're next!"

  29. BeakUpBottom

    Strapping on An Awesome Serpent

    I don't know how he got through all those William Burroughs and Naked Lunch references without using Steely Dan the Third in his punch-line somehow.

    Better that than something to do with "the musty aroma of penetrated rectums deliciously flavoured the air" as an alternative to DRV_IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAT_OR_EQUAL_TO, because it pretty much means the same thing even if there's no acronym in it.

    Yes, I did read the book recently, I'm not sure how many years the various images it conjures up take to fade!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course it's pronounced 'Jif'...

    ...as it stands for Jraphics Interchange Format

    Any fule know that

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Of course it's pronounced 'Jif'...

      Why would anyone want to interchange a giraffe? Is that even legal?

    2. romandog

      Re: Of course it's pronounced 'Jif'...

      Gee IDNKT. -george

  31. ThaumaTechnician

    That is the driest beaver I've even seen.

    If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was stuffed.

    It sure seems to prefer chopping down trees with an axe rather than by using its teeth, eh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That is the driest beaver I've even seen.

      That is the driest beaver I've even seen.

      And whose fault is that?

  32. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    The really annoying thing I find in most West-Pondian documentation is the preponderance of putting everything backwards: Select 'Increase' from the 'Contrast' menu in the 'Balance' menu in the 'Colours' menu instead of the sane Select Colours -> Balance -> Contrast -> Increase.

    1. barbara.hudson

      That's because they have to make documentation that takes up more pages and is more opaque - otherwise, it looks too easy and thus must be worth (and paid) less. IOW, they're acting like they're paid by the word.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      As a technical writer in a former life BC (before computers), one has to earn one's wages somehow and obfuscation of bovine excrement is an art form.

  33. Archtech Silver badge

    My personal favourite

    My favourite American code comment is

    "Horse string length into correctitude".

    Meaning, obviously, "Fix string length".

    1. John Gamble

      Re: My personal favourite

      I'm guessing that was someone's in-joke, because it makes no sense in American English either.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: My personal favourite

        "II'm guessing that was someone's in-joke"

        I'll leave you to discover where "prehensilising some Serbian peasants" came from.

  34. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    The correct pronunciation of ".GIF" is just as controversial as the pronunciation of "Linux". I don't think your friend gets to claim unequivocally how it's pronounced.

    For the former, I personally consider that an acronym derives from the words it's abbreviating. All else being equal, then, I pronounce it with a hard "g". Also, it's the only way the joke "beware geeks bearing .GIFs" works.

  35. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    As for my funny accent... If we ever meet, watch out. I'm gonna take YerAHRS and... buy it and you a pint at the nearest pub. We can sit for a while and poke fun at each others' cultures. And our own. I promise I won't be bringing my six-gun, they annoyingly don't like us to be armed on international flights for some reason.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ssssaaaaaaaahhhssss

    I remain of strong opinion that the correct way of pronouncing this is SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHS!

    Mine is the one with a tricoder in one pocket and a phaser in the other.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank you for resisting the temptation

    WRT "new" jargon, I'm happy you resisted referring to us over here as USAians.

    I don't know what that is, or where it came from, or even how you'd pronounce it ten times, fast; AFAICT it's harder than saying Unique New York ten times, fast or slow.

    1. BeakUpBottom

      Re: Thank you for resisting the temptation

      Personally I started using it to annoy Canadians who throw a massive strop about being called American, and then an even bigger one when you point out they are, in fact, just as American as you USAians.

      Although I suspect it doesn't really have the desired effect. I could say Yank, but there was some confusing explanation I got as to how that doesn't work either.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Thank you for resisting the temptation

      While we're at it: Merkin.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do not go to Canada and call them Americans. You might find your self at the wrong end of hockey stick.

    You might even get the chance to compare the NHS to the canuck medical system. beavers and all.

    1. BeakUpBottom

      But, they live in America, just as much as Mexicans and that bunch in the country inbetween ... I swing a field hockey stick myself, maybe that's why I've yet to get the the deserving beating from the Canadanadians I know.

      1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

        Ahh, another Canadanadians user!!

        1. peter_dtm

          North North Americans surely

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not metric

    > I can spot American writing 1.6km away

    They use miles in the US of A. And Fahrenheit and fluid ounces... other other cool old skool shit.

    1. cklammer

      Re: Not metric

      >> I can spot American writing 1.6km away

      > They use miles in the US of A. And Fahrenheit and fluid ounces... other other cool old skool shit.

      I am not familiar with medieval measuring units ...

      1. JPeasmould

        Re: Not metric

        Shouldn't it be 79.5 chains anyway?

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Not metric

      > I can spot American writing 1.6km away

      They use miles in the US of A.

      WHOOSH!

      Instructions:

      • click on the above link
      • type "1" in the "Miles" box
      • click on "calculate"
      • learn something

      M.

  40. Chemical Bob

    it all sounds jolly tuneful in my head

    You're welcome.

  41. Herby Silver badge

    What, me worry?

    I always called it FORTRAN.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: What, me worry? When Heaven is Available. Are you Mad? I Kid U Not

      And now are y'all Registered as being Privy to the Facility Running Below* ...... with Augmented Virtual Reality Applications for Future Beta-Testing of Superior Prime Quality Product/Earthly Alien Productions ...... AI Based Programs with Quantum Communication Channels Guaranteeing Security Needs and Feeds.

      And the newest versions of Fortran, Herby, .... Enabled to Handle Delivery and Drivering of Virtual Reality ProgramMING ........ with Ab Fab Fabless NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT AIMentoring and AIMonitoring for Future Leading Developments, Default Provided ..... thus to avoid and/or mitigate any Hellish* Problems.

      Should El Reg Engage and lead with the Learning of Secret Sacred Practices in the Future that do Almighty Lead, Every Day?

  42. d3vy Silver badge

    Dear compuserv guy... If you think it's promounced JIFF then I think you need to speak to your jrafick designer... You know the one who does your logos and other jraficks.

  43. AK565

    I live under a rock....

    I thought "technobollox" was utterly brilliant!

    For the record, very few Americans have any idea what a "Babelfish" is...

  44. Joe Beets

    Did anyone mention....

    that the name Burroughs was the name of a computer company?

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