Sea of Noise

Sat, 24 Jul 2004

Words: Woe and Wonder

The CBC's web site includes and excellent monthly feature that discusses English usage (from a Canadian perspective, eh?): Words: Woe & Wonder. Is that flag at half-mast or half-staff? Why is the former leader of Iraq referred to as Saddam instead of Mr. Hussein? Delightful. [via metafilter]

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Fri, 23 Jul 2004

IA Jargon

Jeffrey Veen brings us a few bits of information architecture jargon, including "Boil the Ocean", "Deep Diving", and "S2BU" (Sucks To Be You)...

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Thu, 24 Jun 2004

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: So What?

Timothy Noah reviews Eats, Shoots & Leaves and tells us why nobody's learning anything from Lynne Truss:

Some people botch their punctuation because they lack a proper education, typically because they lack sufficient money to acquire one. Some of them botch it because English is their second language, and you never know your second language as well as your first. But the bulk of them don't know because they don't care. I wish they did, but they don't. And unless they plan on earning their living as writers, it isn't likely to hold them back very much, if at all.

Indeed. That's why, Noah suggests, the popularity of Truss' book has more to do with smugness than punctuation.

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Mon, 07 Jun 2004

The Jargon File

If you're having trouble communicating with your favorite networking geek or UNIX hacker, you might find The Jargon File handy.

(Today I talked to a sysadmin who didn't know what know what foobar was. What are they teaching the kids these days?)

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Fri, 28 May 2004


Another delightful word seems to have been coined when I wasn't looking.

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Thu, 01 Apr 2004

Science Fiction Citations

A group of volunteers has undertaken an interesting project to provide information for the Oxford English Dictionary on citations for terms used in science fiction.

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Fri, 28 Nov 2003

"love chess"

A delightful new phrase, courtesy of "love chess".

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Thu, 27 Nov 2003

"Master and Slave": PCs Deemed Politically Incorrect in LA

As reported yesterday by ZDNet UK and others, and confirmed in detail at, the County of Los Angeles has determined that "[b]ased on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County" the terms "master" and "slave" as used to refer to primary and secondary drive controllers are "not acceptable identification label[s]".

The mind boggles.

Wait until someone explains DNS servers to them...

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Wed, 05 Nov 2003

OED Lowers Prices

Good news for logophiles! OED Online recently added a new monthly subscription plan for individuals. It's still too expensive for me, but it's very tempting.

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Thu, 16 Oct 2003

"joe job"

More new jargon: "Joe Job". The concept has certainly been around a long time, but I've only started seeing this term used fairly recently. (Of course, I haven't had time to keep up with Usenet in years, so maybe that's why.)

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New jargon I've been seeing a lot lately: "cartooney".

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