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Geekspeak Baffles Web Users

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the roflcopter dept.

363

An anonymous reader writes to mention a BBC article on the technology buying public's continued frustration with 'geek speak'. Despite ever-increasing adoption of high tech gadgets in first-world nations, the terms used to describe what these new toys do often elude the people who buy them. From the article: "Acronyms in particular foxed users. 75% of online Britons did not know that VOD stands for video-on-demand, while 68% were unaware that personal video recorders were more commonly referred to as PVRs. Millions of people keep in touch via instant messaging but some 57% of online Brits said they did not know that the acronym for it was IM. 'The technology industry is perhaps the most guilty of all industries when it comes to love of acronyms,' said Mr Burmaster. "

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363 comments

OMG fp (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329229)

first fp...cool.

Re:OMG fp (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329297)

fp? Now what the fuck is that?

Re:OMG fp (1)

hawkeye_82 (845771) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329493)

fp? Now what the fuck is that?

Oooh, ooh, I know. Fountain Pepsi

Obligatory PCMCIA joke here (5, Funny)

aoism (996912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329231)

pepople cant memorize computer industry acronyms

Re:Obligatory PCMCIA joke here (2, Funny)

cabinetsoft (923481) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329587)

Beat this: AAAAAAAAAAAAAA - American Amateur Applied Arts Academy Association Against Absurd And Asininely Artificial Alliterative Acronyms Award

"foxed"...wtf? (5, Funny)

rootrot (103518) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329615)

Wait...Brits who don't understand tech acronyms are getting hit with foxes?!? Is this some strange backlash against the hunt ban? I am so confused....

Re:Obligatory PCMCIA joke here (4, Interesting)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329635)

IANALA (I am *not* a language analyst) but I'm pretty sure that since as long as language exists those who have the ability to make up new words or to grasp the meaning of a new word without a lot of explanation belonged to the smarter segment of the population. The faster our development becomes the more important these skills are. We've now reached a point in time where it won't be long before the rate of development has become so great that it is possible for two people to no longer be able to communicate with each other even though they share a common language due to this vocabulary development gap.

If you don't believe that try to decipher an SMS message sent by one 13 year old to another :)

And PCMCIA was a pretty good example, but some of the stuff I see here on /. causes me to reach for the nearest search engine to figure out what on earth they mean.

this place could easily be nicknamed buzzword central :)

Re:Obligatory PCMCIA joke here (1)

The Notorious ASP (628859) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329707)

Wait, nono, I thought it was people can't REMEMBER computer industry acronyms?

Re:Obligatory PCMCIA joke here (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329717)

pepople cant memorize computer industry acronyms

I'll grant that PCMCIA was one of the worst ever. However, I still see relatively non-geeky people using it, despite the fact that it was shortened years ago to just PC card. Yet, if I say "PC card", they think I mean a video card.

OTOH (look it up, lazy ones) people just don't care enough to learn anything new -- it's just toooo haaaarrrrd Maybe it's just trickle down from the fist-pumping manager assholes who insist that the world come to them and "present" (how damned obsequious) everything in the manager's own "business terms".

Screw 'em all -- they're obviously too dull to look up or print out one of the many excellent online online acronym dictionaries.

If a teenaged girl can decide she needs a D&C after the rubber busts, her father can damned well find out what a FAQ is. Put that on your P&L sheet, jerk. Stay up with the rest of the class or drop out.

actually... (3, Insightful)

SEAL (88488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329237)

The technology industry is perhaps the most guilty of all industries when it comes to love of acronyms

I'd give that distinction to the government and/or military :)

Re:actually... (3, Interesting)

climbing (194764) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329525)

statistics or anecdotes aside...
there is something troubling about the pace of technology change and tech-language change when it starts to intimidate buyers; alienate populations; exploit the niave...

it is hard to keep pace with new acronyms and insider lingo. harder still to research best-value when buying a new product. how much of this acronym is enough?

are you a teacher? smart ass /. reader? IT professional? a parent? son/daughter to someone struggling with e-mail? parent? then please **TEACH people how to look stuff up!**

give people a fishing pole: google, wikipedia, industry acronym lists, textbooks, reference books. teaching people to be independent researchers is very important. more important in the info-age? maybe. feels like it ot me.

Re:actually... (1)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329705)

No matter how little anyone I have ever met knows about computers they all know how to use their favourite search engine to find the spyware they want (I mean desktop backgrounds and what not). If they know how to do that and they do as it is fairly obvious through the copious amounts of spyware that you can find on a system, they know enough to find out what an acronym means. It is probably more the case that they don't care enough to look or feel that if it is too complicated for them to care about. Either way people who have email know enough about the internet to find the information they want.

I completely agree that everyone should be an independant researcher but it is important to realize that not everyone wants to be.

Wrong: Education (1)

MongolJohn (942570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329709)

The education field is much the worst, IMHO and IME.

WTF?! (2, Funny)

valkabo (840034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329239)

WTF NUBS?! RTFM!

Re:WTF?! (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329465)

QFT!!! lol

Re:WTF?! (1)

compass46 (259596) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329657)

O RLY?!?!

Re:WTF?! (4, Insightful)

markana (152984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329787)

If they would just RTFM, they'd grok the TLAs.

Lu5er5... :-)

The only acronym you need (5, Funny)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329249)

DMUANUY
Don't Make Up Acronyms - Nobody Understands You

BFD (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329251)

Seriously, they need to RTFM and GBTW.

Re:BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329663)

Give Back The Whales?

slashdot forgotten (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329253)

Sadly, the term, "slashdotted," didn't even make the initial poll,... Or maybe it did, and that poll was slashdotted, so nobody responded,... ;-)

Sigh. (4, Insightful)

dewie (685736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329257)

Despite ever-increasing adoption of high tech gadgets in first-world nations, the terms used to describe what these new toys do often allude the people who buy them.

I don't usually like to complain about grammar and spelling in article summaries, but come on. Even of you'd used the word you meant, it'd still have been the wrong word.

Re:Sigh. (2, Funny)

dewie (685736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329299)

Even of you'd used...

And there's the inevitable typo in a grammar-nazi post. Double-sigh.

Re:Sigh. (2, Funny)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329373)

>>Even of you'd used the word you meant, it'd still have been the wrong word.

I don't usually like to complain about grammar and spelling in post replies, but come on, at least get your spellings right while cribbing about it, especially when you'd used the world you did not mean is the wrong word.

Re:Sigh. (2, Funny)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329437)

especially when you'd used the world you did not mean is the wrong word

Suppose you get your English right... :-D

Re:Sigh. (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329521)

Dang! But one fine day, I will get my "grammar-nazi"-nazi post right.

Re:Sigh. (1)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329597)

no the correct word is elude (synonym: evade; as in the meaning of the terms used to describe features evades understanding by lay folk) so it's just poor spelling. A whole affect/effect issue I suspect.

Re:Sigh. (1)

dewie (685736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329843)

You're right, the meaning of the terms eludes non-techies, but that summary says (or tries to say) that the terms themselves elude them. Overly pedantic? Possibly, but if you're going to play the grammar nazi you might as well go the whole hog.

Re:Sigh. (1)

Killall -9 Bash (622952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329713)

it'd still have been the wrong word.
In the past tense, but not the present? (Oh no! I used a sentence fragment!!!!)

Re:Sigh. (3, Funny)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329791)


It's because we try to show how intelligent and sophisticated we are by using words we can't spell, and whose meaning we don't really know.

aren't we humans a bunch of wankers? ;-)

Wow. (2, Insightful)

Jello B. (950817) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329283)

Think of how confusing "IANAL" must be to them.

Re:Wow. (1)

visgoth (613861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329675)

They probably picture the Apple equivalent of these [fu-fme.com] .

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329747)

They just think you are saying "I ANAL".

Small wonder (1, Redundant)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329303)

the terms used to describe what these new toys do often allude the people who buy them

No wonder they're baffled when the geeks try to speak English but don't know English.

Re:Small wonder (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329687)

What's that old saying... ah yes:

Enable programmers to program in English and you will find that they can't.

When PDA first came about.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329309)

I thought a lot of guys were hitting on me - PDA == Public Display of Affection.

Re:When PDA first came about.... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329433)

Yeah, but that's nothing compared to geeks talking about "getting DSL" or "having DSL". No man should ever stand up in a public place and say "I've got DSL!"

Re:When PDA first came about.... (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329631)

OK, I'm stumped.

Re:When PDA first came about.... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329807)

Before it was co-opted for the "Digital Subscriber Line" DSL meant "Dick Suckin' Lips". So I shouldn't say "no man", that betrays my homophobic bias (minimal though it may be.) No straight man would be more accurate. Incidentally, while we're on the topic of sexual references, if fisting is penetrating someone with a whole hand, what does it mean when you're "stumped"?

Re:When PDA first came about.... (1)

benicillin (990784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329859)

ewwwww

Re:When PDA first came about.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329827)

Or use their DSL to pull down a load?

TLAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329321)

Yes, we love our TLAs (thats "Three Letter Acronyms" for you noobs)

Re:TLAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329375)

Did you ever notice that TLDs are not only top level domains but many are also three letter domains.

Re:TLAs (1)

medge_42 (173874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329579)

Or ETLAs or VETLAs or even VSLTLAs. IM is only two letters so it's a just TLA.
My favourite TLA is IBM's 'AMD' which means Air Movement Device. It's a TLA replacement what was originally just a TLW.

Re:TLAs (3, Insightful)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329771)

I suppose it's worth mentioning that TLA isn't a TLA. Well, it's not the TLA you think it is. It's a Three-Letter-Abbreviation. See, the amusing thing is that an acronym is a word. It's pronounced. FBI and CIA are examples of non-acronyms. FUBAR and SCSI are examples of acronyms. Abbreviations on the other hand are simple short versions of things.

It's not just Acronyms... (5, Insightful)

XNine (1009883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329331)

My parents get the idea of Memory (RAM, or to save those who don't know this acronym: Random Access Memory) for a computer crossed with "memory" (HDD or Hard Disk Drive). I tell my mother "you need more memory" and she instantly freaks out with "I HAVE TO UPGRAD ETHE HARD DRIVE AGAIN?!" No, mom. I still love her.

Re:It's not just Acronyms... (1)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329477)

It's an interesting question. Why can't older adults learn new terms with fixed meanings? Does the fear of computers have an impact on long-term human memory or something? People rarely mistake a truck for a city bus, even though both have engines and wheels and travel on roads. SImilarly, if you show a person a hard drive and a memory dimm they will not mistake one for the other unless they have very bad eyesight or have neurological problems. But many of them mix the terms up all the time. I'm really perplexed by this. But then again I am also perplexed by people's inability to understand the concept of directory trees and 'virtual object permanence'.

Re:It's not just Acronyms... (2, Insightful)

daranz (914716) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329607)

If someone showed me two species of ducks, that are significantly different from each other (like, a different color of feathers), and then told me their names, I'd probably get them mixed up if they asked me to identify a duck a week later. That's because I don't work with ducks. I am not into ducks. I don't care what species they are, and I have no need to know.

I guess it's similar with people who have no desire or need to know what's inside of their computer. On the other hand, you have to know the difference between a truck and a bus for your everyday life.

Re:It's not just Acronyms... (4, Insightful)

chrylis (262281) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329727)

This is the reason I'm always very careful to maintain the distinction between "memory" (RAM) and "space" (secondary storage). Non-geeks may not always understand just from the terms what the difference is, but I've found that most people can grasp the analogy between "memory" (things I have in my head) vs. "space" (things I can't remember but wrote down and put in my desk for next week).

Re:It's not just Acronyms... (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329673)

It's an interesting question. Why can't older adults learn new terms with fixed meanings? Does the fear of computers have an impact on long-term human memory or something? People rarely mistake a truck for a city bus, even though both have engines and wheels and travel on roads. SImilarly, if you show a person a hard drive and a memory dimm they will not mistake one for the other unless they have very bad eyesight or have neurological problems. But many of them mix the terms up all the time. I'm really perplexed by this. But then again I am also perplexed by people's inability to understand the concept of directory trees and 'virtual object permanence'.

The same reason people don't know the difference between a gram negative bacteria and a gram positive one. It's outside of their interests and they just don't want to learn.

your momma so stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329503)

but so is mine and most everyone else in the world. I almost wish we could rename RAM to something else. I deal with your "average user" pretty regularly, some of them have even grown up with computers and have been using them for years. You say "oh, it looks like you don't have enough memory to run that program" and instantly it's "crap, does that mean I need to delete some mp3s?". I used to be very good natured about this but now it drives me batshit insane. I really believe you can just make shit up about computers and people will believe it - "your flux capacitor is out of alignment" - that kind of shit.
The sad fact of working in IT is that the common idiocy of humanity gets rubbed in your face nearly every single day.

Re:It's not just Acronyms... (5, Insightful)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329731)

You know, back in high school when I sold computers for a chain, I came up with this helper:

Let's say your computer is a kitchen. Your hard drive is the cabinets, and your RAM is the countertop. If you have lots of cabinets and a small countertop, you can still cook whatever you want, you'll just be cleaning up and putting pots and pans away a lot more often. If you have a large counter, you can cook and cook until you're done, and clean it all up at once.

Nothing earthshattering, but I got a lot of "Ohhhh!!"s after explaining it that way.

What a Bunch of n00bs (0, Troll)

omegashenron (942375) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329341)

There are already too many n00bs who own a computer and are connected to the internet. Perhaps what is rather needed is not us changing for them but a "geek test" where in order to qualify for internet access you must pass a series of tests/exams like you do in order to get a radio license.

Until this time, the internet will continue to be littered with crap to entertain the vast majority of people who should not be connected.

Re:What a Bunch of n00bs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329563)

And I thought the technology acronyms were snobbish!

Re:What a Bunch of n00bs (1)

bwthomas (796211) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329611)

A lot of well meaning people might think that the parent is flaimbait ... allow me to explain why it's not.

There's a lot of us who wonder, basically, "what's next". What's the next great technology. Will it be cool or will it be vaporware. But the more immediate question is "when's next", because the next great technology has already been discovered in the R&D Labs out there, and the companies that have this technology are not bringing it to market because they have enourmously long pipelines. They work to make it as cheap, as well suited to mass production, as marketable as possible. In a word, they make sure, dead sure, and sure again that it's consumer ready.

But who's defining consumer ready? The average, the great pale middle. The people that know vaguely what the internet is, but not how it works. The people who know that their computer can print pictures from their digital camera, but who ask their kids to set it up for them. The people who have dvd players that flash 12:00.

So, until we bring the middle ground higher, technology companies are going to keep it slow, selling as much of each iteration as they can before moving on to the next. In short, we either keep these people away from anything with an led or teach them. Or wait until they die.

Re:What a Bunch of n00bs (0, Flamebait)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329695)

tests/exams like you do in order to get a radio license.(...) the vast majority of people who should not be connected.

what an utterly elitist and brainless snobby "I'm soo 1337" statement! did you realize that the net is supposed to be for everyone - even those that don't meet your standards? what if we said that people with a /. ID higher than 942374 cannot post here unless they take an IQ test and score >90? you wouldn't pass, I guess...

ok sorry it's just that I'm out of mod points to slap you with -1 flamebait...

Disagree (1)

persona1 (1009911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329343)

I am going to have to disagree with this article on the fact that the computer industry is the most guilty of acronym overuse. Has anyone ever tried to understand someone in the military..yeah you know what I am talking about, those guys use more acronyms then the english language has words.

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329441)

It increases OPSEC!

hmmm (2, Funny)

nrgy (835451) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329353)

With all my L33T knowledge I still trying to figure out what the GIRL acronym means. Oh well back to WoW.

Too many acronyms?!? (5, Funny)

EasyT (749945) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329387)

I didn't RTFA, but WTF? FYI IANAL, but AFAIK this is slander, AKA lies. I'd sue FTW ASAP. J/K, LOL.

Re:Too many acronyms?!? (1)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329491)

FWIW, IAWTP.

Re:Too many acronyms?!? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329651)

You're making this too complicated! The only acronyms you need on the Internet are:

1. STFU
2. WTF
3. LOL

Re:Too many acronyms?!? (1)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329671)

OMG... STFU!

Both of those examples: (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329397)

  • I diddnt quickly know
  • Are already obsolete

Who doesn't watch video "on demand"? Except for marketing meetings I need to go to for every second Thursday, I only ever watch video "on demand" (I guess thats "on demand" too, by demand of my boss). And all non-industrial video recording devices are "personal". "Hey, roommate, come here. Insert keys .... now ..... Turn in 3 ... 2 ... 1 .. turn! {recording}" Ya, right, thats playing out in millions of homes everywhere.

Yes, I am bitter and constantly annoyed at/about people who insist on putting some stupid and redundent sylable in front of "mail" all the time.

Payback's a bitch. (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329409)

> "There is a certain level of knowledge snobbery in so far as if you talk in acronyms you sound like you really know what you are talking about and if others don't understand then they are seen in some way as inferior,"

It's domain-specific knowledge, and the domain changes on a weekly basis. I'll bet half the non-technical users who didn't grok the TLAs in the TFA would have no problems instantly recognizing "Bennifer" and "TomKat" or whoever the cute-celeb-name-du-jour is on the entertainment news.

Jargon comes from domain-specific knowledge. Language evolves to accomodate new technological and social developments. And the world's a better place when everyone is willing to play along.

So STFU n00b, and when the microcontroller responsible for integrating temperature over time tells you to do so, gimme my 4x4 with a side of animal-style fries. Because that's what I call enjoyin' the ol' in-n-out.

Re:Payback's a bitch. (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329817)

Even people who use the acronyms and terms regularly have trouble without a little bit contextual help. Every heard the one about the Hindi Cardiologist who died of a heart attack in K-Marts while rushing to aid the victim of a blue-light special in isle 3?

Advancement of Technology (2, Insightful)

pen (7191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329417)

As technology gets more advanced, less understanding of it is required to be able to use it. My mom doesn't know how to change the oil in her car, but she can still drive it.

Re:Advancement of Technology (1)

Talennor (612270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329677)

No. It gets easier to use as it matures. Not that it makes the acronyms go away. They're just easier to ignore and have things work correctly.

Advancement makes it harder to use. Think of how your mom doesn't fly an airplane (though if she does I'll give up my disagreement right now). The space shuttle is advanced technology, or was at least recently. A refrigerator, car, of phone is a mature technology.

Re:Advancement of Technology (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329701)

As technology gets more advanced, less understanding of it is required to be able to use it. My mom doesn't know how to change the oil in her car, but she can still drive it.

And while the nice guy in me wants to make things great for EVERYBODY...the logical part of me is thinking "you know what? screw em!". Reason being...if these people don't know enough about the tech to know the jargon, I don't want them anywhere near it. Honestly...I think it should be that way with cars too. If knowledge requirements for driving a car were anywhere NEAR as big as they are for flying a plane the roads would be infinitely safer. Same thing with the internet.

Re:Advancement of Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329757)

Yeah, but she probably knows what you mean when you say "oil change", rather than "RSS" or "podcast".

Re:Advancement of Technology (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329785)

Yeah, but she probably knows that oil needs to be changed, and she maybe even understands why. It's easy to understand WTF engine oil is for because "oil" is a word every native English-speaker is familiar with. If Jiffy Lube talked like geeks they'd rename oil "petroleum-based automotive lubricant" and engine wear "friction-induced damage" and take out ads saying "Reinitialize your PBAL before FID occurs!" Nobody would know what they were talking about, just as nobody understands most of the unnecessary jargon in geekspeak.

What I have seen (1)

elebrin (844422) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329449)

Do people really need to know that RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, or what PCMCIA stands for, as long as they know that the PCMCIA card goes in the PCMCIA slot? A lot of acronyms seem to have more meaning attached to them the simply what the letters stand for. What I am trying to say is that the meaning of the acronyms seems more important then what they stand for.

Re:What I have seen (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329795)

Do people really need to know [...] what PCMCIA stands for, as long as they know that the PCMCIA card goes in the PCMCIA slot?
You know, a lot of hardship comes when people start sticking things in slots without understanding them fully.

They are called acronyms (2, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329463)

and they are bad when overused. Its not a problem with geekspeak. There are often times when I am frustrated with people's overuse of acronyms, especially in non-computer environments. So don't blame us.

You all need to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329475)

...STFU. j/k, ttyl

No problem (3, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329479)

The industry is soon going to make people fully aware of the importance of acronyms in the tech products they use. The lesson will start with 'DRM'...

Does it really matter? (1)

OnyxIR (456300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329495)

Seriously, who cares what the acronyms stand for, they generally stand on their own. What percentage of IRC users know what IRC stands for? Does that stop them from using and enjoying IRC or even http for that matter?

Besides all the embarrasment they cause for the 3 people who actually worry about acronyms causing confusion, what would the solution be anyway? NOT using them?

Hey dude, I will catch you on Internet Relay Chat later. Or we can Instant Message.

GSF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329501)

GSF or Geek-Speak Frustration occurs when non-techicals are confronted with too many acronyms.

Not a big deal. (1)

TastySheriff (954260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329515)

Try having a coversation with someone about personal video recorders or digital rights management without using acronyms. Anyone that owns a PVR knows what one is, and anyone thats shopping for one is bound to find out in a hurry, so why be frustrated by it.

You mean "elude" (1)

5pp000 (873881) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329535)

Allude: to refer casually or indirectly: The posting alluded to the editor's poor spelling.


Elude: to avoid or escape; to escape the understanding of: The correct spelling eluded the editor.

ROTFL (1)

hardaker (32597) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329547)

U bet they n3v3r b3 31337 h@x0rs!

Happened to me today (1)

dwayner79 (880742) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329559)

I hate it when people try to sound smart by trying to say what the Acronym stands for, even worse when they get it wrong. Today I was talking about ROM chips in a controller. He said. "Yea, Random Orbital Memory..." It was all I could do to stop from LMAO. n00bs.

Re:Happened to me today (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329885)

Neal Stevenson deliberately did the "Built In Operating System" one in Snowcrash - do you really think that one would get past an editor?

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16329569)

Is it me or is this article full of FUD?

Acronyms? (1)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329629)

'The technology industry is perhaps the most guilty of all industries when it comes to love of acronyms,' said Mr Burmaster.

I hear his friends call him "B-dog".

in other words (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329653)

IM VOD PVR't

What else can be said unintentionally with such acronymns strung together.

Newsflash! (2, Interesting)

daVinci1980 (73174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329659)

In other news, the sky is blue, the earth is round and objects fall down!

Of course a large percentage of folks who don't use a particular technology don't know the acronyms used to refer to that technology. I'm sure back in the 40s, 70% of the population didn't know that TV was an acronym for television. For that matter, I bet 20 years ago (early days of the Personal Computer), 70% of the population didn't know what PC meant either.

Good job slashdot! If this were fark, the article would get the 'obvious' tag, and the submitter would be deserving of the 'dumbass' tag.

what? (2, Insightful)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329679)

I didn't know a lot of the stuff that they put on here before I started coming on /. because in England people don't use IM to talk about it, people would usually say in full or say "messenger" (some people even use "msn" like a brand name for the whole lot - I think AIM is more common in the US)... so the poll seems a bit strange. People just have names that they know things by that they and their friends would use. Besides that, I've never met someone with a PVR anyway, I think the poll seems very American on British audiences it doesn't seem that amazing.

Other than that; "OMG!!!!11! teh l33t pwnd teh n00bs!!!one11!"

Wow. (1)

O'Laochdha (962474) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329711)

I'm kind of surprised how much of these terms I didn't know. I'd never thought to check what "RSS" stood for, for example, or referred to a personal video recorder as anything but. Come to think of it, I don't even know what "VHS" stands for. It's quite humbling.

The jargon was a different story, though.

best one: (1)

cabinetsoft (923481) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329729)

/. (and i just made another one: FLF - Friggin' Lameness Filter)

VOD? (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329735)

Yeah I dont think i've ever even seen that acronym written anywhere. Video on demand? Is that television? IPTV?

PVR/DVR is pretty common, but as long as they knew what a "digital video recorder" was, then thats a pass. Not everyone perfers to use shortforms in place of words. IM is stupid and always has been. People should say "icq" instead. Like kleenex or coke.

"So while 40% of online Britons receive news feeds, 67% did not know that the official term for this service was Really Simple Syndication."

Man, I see RSS everywhere and *I* didnt even know what it stood for. I mean come on, if you use something, and refer to it as "feeds" or something else, and people know what you mean and you can communicate, then why all the need for correctness?

Sometimes there is no alternative (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329753)

In the beginning, the devices don't have common terms for them. Then perhaps a simple description is turned into an acronym. After time a set of words becomes a proper name for the device. Before the final step all you have is the acronym or its equivalent; there is nothing short and precise, just short and vague or long and precise. VOD refers to something particular. It's not just "video over the tubes".

Acronymns are useful only those who use them (1)

BigDiz (962986) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329779)

Anyone who finds acronyms confusing, soon learns what they stand for if they have the need to. I'm sure there are acronyms, and other jargon, that would totally confuse me. But the great thing is, I don't care. I have no need to know them. At the same time, if I want to rant about RIAA DRM it's a hell of a lot easier than writing the Recording Industry Assosciation of America's Digital Rights Management.

"allude?" Shouldn't that be eLude? (1)

grikdog (697841) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329823)

Possibly iLude?

VOD (1)

proxy318 (944196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329833)

"Come son of Jor-el, kneel before VOD!!"

Oh, what, that was Zod.

Geekspeak (1)

Changa_MC (827317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329851)

GeekSpeak is hard to understand if you don't know the physical objects being named. RAM didn't exist 300 years ago, so there isn't a word for it in any language from that time. HDDs, FDD, same problem. It's not a problem with geeks, but with the newness of technology. Give it 300 years, it'll fix itself.

I don't know a carburetor from a fuel-pump, but I don't complain that mechanics are conspiring to keep me from driving.

N.T.S.H.M.A. (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329857)

As a Brit IT guy tell me something I don't know. Or N.T.S.H.M.A.

or,
Try asking a Mac user for his MAC address. Can get very tricky. That's the cruelest TLA of all.

3LA.ca -- acronyms explained via podcast (1)

Rikardon (116190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329867)

May I recommend Peter Rukavina [ruk.ca] 's new site 3LA.ca [3la.ca] where he explains three-letter acronyms via audcast, in plain English.

I love those meta acronyms... (1)

Panaqqa (927615) | more than 7 years ago | (#16329875)

Where an acronym itself becomes a single letter in another acronym.

The worst offender that comes to mind right now? M$ "NetBEUI", with the B for BIOS crammed in there.
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