back to article MSDN unleashes a fresh round of unintentional innuendo bingo

The spirit of Kenneth Williams* is alive and well in the corridors of Redmond, with staffer Raymond Chen detailing some internal Microsoft jargon in a euphemism-heavy MSDN posting. Chen was discussing the problem of getting to grips with jargon that it is assumed everyone knows but which no one thinks to explain. In this …

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

    I've tried giving up using innuendo several times...

    ...but its hard. So very, very hard...

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: I've tried giving up using innuendo several times...

      You need to grasp the problem firmly...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I've tried giving up using innuendo several times...

        And thrash it out together - some sort of mass debate

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've tried giving up using innuendo several times...

          Easy to pull off.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've tried giving up using innuendo several times...

        > You need to grasp the problem firmly...

        I tried that but I think it's gone completely over my head.

    2. Admiral Grace Hopper

      Re: I've tried giving up using innuendo several times...

      A colleague just asked me for an example of a double entendre so I gave him one.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've tried giving up using innuendo several times...

      Have you tried turning it off and on again?

  2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    This doesn't sound so bad from just the El Reg story, but when you follow the link and read the original article it becomes clear what a linguistic faux pas he made.

    Quite a cock-up, in fact.

    1. Unep Eurobats

      Indeed, the Microsoft article is confused. Its author appears to think that knob is a synonym for parameter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Indeed, the Microsoft article is confused. Its author appears to think that knob is a synonym for parameter.

        An understandable mistake, given that a both words can mean something that you stick into something else to make interesting things happen.

        1. monty75

          Micro soft knobs are very disappointing

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Micro soft knobs are very disappointing

            So they're rather flaccid? We should feel sorry for them.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "both words can mean something that you stick into something else to make interesting things happen"

          Something about knob inter face

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Inquiring minds wish to know....

    Will the designs for such user interfaces be known as Knobby Styles?

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Inquiring minds wish to know....

      Will the designs for such user interfaces be known as Knobby Styles?

      More apt to be Knobby McKnobface even if it makes no sense at all... because kids these days!

  4. Unep Eurobats
    Facepalm

    Does knob really have two meanings any more?

    The problem is, if you can't use it in its primary sense to refer to a control because it can also refer to a penis, then it really now only has one meaning.

    So now we have an inordinate number of words for penis but no word for a cylindrical control that can be rotated to alter the state of a machine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

      I've never seen a door penis.

      1. monty75

        Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

        I've never seen a door penis.

        You've never lived, then.

      2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

        I've never seen a door penis.

        Likewise, but I have seen plenty of door knockers

        1. monty75

          Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

          I have seen plenty of door knockers

          Ah, so that's why police break down doors with a cry of "This is a bust"

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

        "I've never seen a door penis"

        Here are several NSFW door knobs - and key holes.

        That is a Pinterest page - so click "Not Now" to get rid of the login pop-up.

      4. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

        I've never seen a door penis.

        I've seen a horse fly.

        Oh, sorry, wrong joke.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've never seen a door penis.

        I have a wood pecker...

        1. Scott Marshall

          Re: I've never seen a door penis.

          I thought that it was a splinter, Dick.

    2. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

      "...So now we have an inordinate number of words for penis but no word for a cylindrical control that can be rotated to alter the state of a machine..."

      Dial

      http://www.dictionary.com/browse/dial

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

        @TonyJ - "Dial"

        Not really, I would say that a dial has an important measurement indication function, and may not have a control input function, e.g. a clock dial. Hence, a radio has a tuning dial (the measurement indication is important), and a volume knob.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

          "Hence, a radio has a tuning dial [...]"

          And often controlled by an indirect "tuning knob". The latter usually has a geared effect for fine control.

          In the wartime mechanically tuned multiband radio receivers the dial had to show many frequency ranges. The Hammarlund HRO comes to mind as unusually having a vernier dial integrated with the large diameter tuning knob. A frequency band was selected by plugging in a large modular box of appropriate tuning components. The front of that box had a graph for the operator to convert the dial vernier number to a frequency in that band.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

            "Hammarlund HRO"

            Erratum: the HRO was produced by the National Radio Company. Hammarlund made a later competitor "Super Pro".

            The name "HRO" :

            "The design was finished in 1934 and National pushed hard to get the receiver out by the end of that year. When creating the tools for the first production run, the tool makers had to work overtime and used HOR (Hell Of a Rush) as a job number on their overtime slips. As National's marketing department didn't want their radios to become known as HORs (whores), the name was changed to HRO (Hell of a Rush Order). "

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

              NASA renamed the experimental crew rescue vehicle because the acronym would be CRV-X and that sounded like a lady part.

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

      "So now we have an inordinate number of words for penis but no word for a cylindrical control that can be rotated to alter the state of a machine"

      How about...nob?

      1. monty75

        Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

        How about...nob?

        At least buy me a drink first

    4. GIRZiM

      Re: no word for a cylindrical control that can be rotated to alter the state of a machine

      DJs/musicians call them 'pots'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: no word for a cylindrical control that can be rotated to alter the state of a machine

        DJs/musicians call them 'pots'

        <pedantry>As a musician myself, I use the word 'pot' to refer to the electronic gubbins (i.e. the potentiometer) within. The plastic do-dad that provides the interface to that is something I'd still refer to as a knob.</pedantry>

        1. GIRZiM

          Re: <pedantry>

          Fair enough, strictly speaking correct (upvote), but a lot of us do bandy the term around interchangeably, albeit incorrectly - so, I think it can be considered a half-truth or 'useful lie' in this instance.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Baudwalk

    I particularly liked...

    ... >>>The performance power slider controls knobs <snip> <<<

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of Kenneth Williams's most quoted lines is in his role as Julius Caesar***.

    "Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!"

    ***Not the Shakespearean one in the classical drama career to which he had aspired.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "One of Kenneth Williams's most quoted lines is in his role as Julius Caesar"

      My favourite line from that, aboard ship, was "Sic transit Gloria". Did they call the character Gloria just so they could use that line?

      But when it comes to innuendo the whole of the Carry On series pales in comparison to Round the Horne.

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

        But when it comes to innuendo the whole of the Carry On series pales in comparison to Round the Horne.

        Indeed, which itself was only marginally ahead of certain subjects on Just A Minute when Kenneth got himself going

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "when Kenneth got himself going"

          Indeed.

      2. TonyJ Silver badge

        I wish I could upvote that more than once, Dr S.

        I still love a bit of Round the Horne on R4 Extra.

        Kenneth Williams was extraordinarily talented.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "But when it comes to innuendo the whole of the Carry On series pales in comparison to Round the Horne."

        Difficult to believe that it was broadcast on BBC radio during Sunday lunchtimes in the 1960s - the most dedicated "family listening" slot.

        The innuendo must have gone over my mother's head otherwise she would not have allowed us to listen to it. As it did over my teenage head in those less informed days. We had not heard of homosexuality. Girls' were effectively in chastity belts - while boys were handy peers as A.L.Rowse mentions in his autobiography of his school days in Cornwall in the 1920s.

        1. Uffish

          re: "handy peers"

          @AC

          I don't know which school you went to but compared to the schools I went to in the 50's and 60's you were sadly under informed and mistaken.

    2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Happy

      The Bona World of Julian and Sandy

      For the benefit of all...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4VaXsXCJ4M

      Edit: My favourite is Kenneth meeting Sandy and Julian at their office "Bona Law".

      K; Can you help me with a legal problem?

      S&J; Sorry but we're too busy with our criminal practice!

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The Bona World of Julian and Sandy

        Supposedly the boss of the BBC dept at the time (Bill Cotton?) loved the idea of the broadcasting rude things to little old ladies who wouldn't understand them.

        So whenever some earnest young producer came to him to say "that line in Julian and Sandy it means this thing homosexuals do ....." he would archly ask them "Really - how do you know ?"

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      One of Kenneth Williams's most quoted lines is in his role as Julius Caesar

      ... was nicked from Take It From Here on the wireless: originality wasn't exactly a strong point of Carry On....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "... was nicked from Take It From Here on the wireless:"

        Ooerr Ron...

  7. tiggity Silver badge

    Surely

    The innuendo definition is surely the UK primary definition of knob, the control panel / door fixture etc definition is the secondary one

    Lots of youngsters not really used to knobs as a control on most things - buy a TV, radio etc these days and typically no volume / tuning knob

    Still get knobs on some things like washing machines*, but plenty of teenagers will want to avoid the tedium of having to operate white goods when they know if their clothes / bedding etc. gets skanky enough a primary care giver will reluctantly do the washing.

    * Yes I know some of the more expensive / newer ones do not have knobs, but still plenty of be-knobbed washing machines still around as (unless you are rolling in cash) you only replace a washing machine when it gives up the ghost

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely

      "The innuendo definition is surely the UK primary definition of knob, [...]"

      That must be a relatively recent change for what in my day was only a secondary usage. In the 1950s there was the expression "with knobs on" - meaning something was an embellished version of some product or story. A knob was the standard UI control on many things - particularly radios. The more knobs - the more functions it had. A "dial" was more commonly used to mean a moving display that showed a scale of something eg frequency, temperature, time.

      There is also the homophone "nob" - possibly an old variant - which referred to a head or someone from the UK upper classes.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Surely

        There is also the homophone "nob" - possibly an old variant - which referred to a head or someone from the UK upper classes.

        That's just a shortened form of the word "nobility" though, isn't it?

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Surely

          "That's just a shortened form of the word "nobility" though, isn't it?"

          Well, yes, but you could equally well observe that "knob" is just the appropriate word for something that sticks out so that you can fiddle about with it to make stuff happen.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely

      That's just because British are obsessed with sex, but because their nonsensical education, they can't use plain words to refer to is - so the need to transform every word into a sexual reference.

      Drink less beer...

      1. Spoonsinger
        Windows

        Re: Surely

        Or more beer :-)

        "His face is all bubukles and whelks and knobs and flames o' fire; and his lips blows at his nose, and it is like a coal of fire, sometimes plue and sometimes red, but his nose is executed, and his fire’s out. "

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely

      Still get knobs on some things like washing machines

      And cookers as well (those are hob knobs).

      .

      .

      .

      (I'll get my coat)

  8. Woza
    Pint

    If the range of a parameter

    is itself a tunable parameter, then you might get knobby knobbs.

    Icon: Beer in memory of Pterry.

  9. knottedhandkerchief

    Used to use an old Wheatstone Bridge, it had many knobs to twiddle with - and a brass plate on the front proudly proclaimed the provenance to be none other than Wayne Kerr.

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Boffin

      You will be pleased to know that Wayne Kerr Electronics are still in business.

      1. Faceless Man

        What about his pals, Spinner and Paddlefoot?

        https://youtu.be/ptTtpQ2jF8s

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    reminds me of the BOFH and the beancounter episode where the beancounter is whining about the "KNOBFACE" serial number...

    Took me a while to get the other meaning of that word as well...

  11. AndrueC Silver badge
    Happy

    I always used to chuckle at SHITEMID. It helped relieve the stress since, trust me, there is little else about working with the Windows Shell that is fun.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      I'd forgotten about that one - have an upvote

    2. lesession

      And of course ...

      And of course don't forget the precursor to Stack Overflow, Expert Sexchange ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And of course ...

        And of course don't forget the precursor to Stack Overflow, Expert Sexchange ...

        or Pen Island...or Powergen Italia....

  12. Mr Gullible

    Back to School

    Oh dear. Is it a slow news day?

    At the risk of sounding pious, I stopped sniggering at this kind of thing at some point during my time at primary school.

    It really doesn't do anything for the image of people in the industry other than reinforce the view that most IT Professionals are socially stunted.

    The inevitable downvotes will probably demonstrate my point for me.

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Back to School

      Children live on one side of despair; the enlightened on the other.

      Happy to be childish.

      Now just feed me a goodly line that ends with a fnarrr, fnarrr

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back to School

      *snigger* He said 'point'!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back to School

      "It really doesn't do anything for the image of people in the industry other than reinforce the view that most IT Professionals are socially stunted."

      Innuendo in the form of puns shows an intelligent grasp of the language and its ambiguities. It denotes a flexibility of mind that is useful in creative careers - including many areas of IT.

    4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Back to School

      " reinforce the view that most IT Professionals are socially stunted."

      Er, are you saying that the sociable majority of the population don't make knob jokes?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back to School

      "It really doesn't do anything for the image of people in the industry other than reinforce the view that most IT Professionals are socially stunted."

      "Familiarity breeds contempt--and children." ~ Mark Twain

      "An intellectual is a person who's found one thing that's more interesting than sex." ~ Aldous Huxley

      "Nothing risqué, nothing gained." ~ Alexander Woollcott

      "Sex. In America an obsession. In other parts of the world a fact." ~ Marlene Dietrich

    6. 's water music Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Back to School

      At the risk of sounding pious, I stopped sniggering at this kind of thing at some point during my time at primary school.

      Life comes at you fast doesn't it? Of course formal education crushes a lot of the joy out of many of us but also affords a glimpse of untold intellectual riches. One hopes that it will leave you with some of the former and inspire you to pursue the latter but sadly it can easily work out like Larkin's mum and dad.

      I am absolutely sincere in my wish that you will someday rediscover the joy of a good knob gag alongside your loftier pursuits.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back to School

      BOTTIE!

      Just 'cause I'm a big kid

    8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Back to School

      "At the risk of sounding pious, I stopped sniggering at this kind of thing at some point during my time at primary school."

      Growing old(er) is compulsory. Growing up is optional.

  13. colinb
    Holmes

    'Knob' rolls off the tongue

    Parameter doesn't

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: 'Knob' rolls off the tongue

      A paramour sometimes does (if you're lucky).

  14. Herby Silver badge

    Opening graphic...

    I'm surprised that nobody (at least as of this writing) has commented on the fact that the knob dial has a max value of 11. Must be a Marshall amp!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Opening graphic...

      The "up to eleven" marking was probably taken as read.

      Obligatory XKCD

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    I always thought a 'knob' was the dial or mechanical thing manufactured device

    and that the 'nob' is sexual, nobbed .....

    also your horse could be nobbled to prevent it winning the race.

  16. old Steveo

    ot

    So yesterday I bought a monitor switch for my studio. Thoughtfully named the "big knob" by the marketing geniuses at Mackie. Endless fun with the sales people...

  17. John Lilburne Silver badge

    Just a minute ...

    Kenneth Williams speaking on JAM on the subject of Cults.

    I am a cult, I am. I often hear people say as I walk past "Ooooh look at him, he's a right cult."

    Buzzed for repetition of "I'm"

  18. Sequin

    What about the time they released the Critical Update Notification Tool?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Back when the RSA first introduced the Computer Literacy, Information Technology course, it was quickly renamed Computer Literacy And Information Technology course.

  19. Faceless Man

    It's so hard

    When you have to fiddle with the knob on a router to get it to interface with the socket properly.

  20. toastie

    And as a Maplin RIP staff member back when they sold components not stupid toys this is the one... .POTentiometer

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