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Jargon Scout



Jargon Scout is an irregular TBTF feature that aims to give you advance warning -- preferably before Wired magazine picks it up -- of jargon that is just about ready to hatch into the Net's language. Jargon Scout also invites your collusion in inventing the requisite jargon, in those cases in which the concept emerges before its consensus denomination. new Help the Jargon Scout chronicle the rise of jargonated job titles.


Subscribe to the email newsletter that brings you the Jargon Scout. TBTF has been called "required reading for anyone with a clue."
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2000-07-26: Jargon Scout is the Site of the Week at the University of Waikato Library, whose slogan is "hot information in a cool world."
Scout Report Selection 2000-07-14: Oh my word, we made the Scout Report.
2000-07-13: The Jargon Scout is today's New Scientist site of the day.

Contents

Jargon du Jour
  new 2001-06-05:
ex-post hoaxo
new 2001-03-16:
Sand Hill roadkill
new 2001-02-05:
Barney relationship
  new 2001-02-05:
schleptop
new 2001-02-05:
retalirator
new 2001-02-05:
dotcommode
  new 2001-02-05:
paraspam
2000-11-08:
bone transfer
2000-07-06:
glocalization
  2000-06-02:
C2C (obsolete; P2P is now preferred)
2000-06-02:
beltware
2000-06-02:
geek keys
  2000-04-18:
dot-communist
2000-04-18:
bugwards-compatible
2000-04-18:
emailingering
  2000-04-02:
bizmeth
2000-04-02:
post-economic
2000-03-24:
spampoena
  2000-03-19:
packet karma
2000-03-19:
laganoia
2000-03-19:
component service provider, CSP
  2000-03-07:
clicks 'n' mortar
2000-01-27:
moved to Atlanta
1999-10-09:
javant-garde
  1999-10-09:
entreprenerd
1999-10-09:
'trep
1999-09-30:
dot commerce
  1999-08-25:
blog
1999-08-23:
vortal
one-tweak loop
  macwater jarjar filler app
  FBC e2e and offlist netopath
  dog-food (verb) STFW ippie
  innocent by-sender reverse egosurfing idsurfing
    fasgrolia internesia
Jargon Invention
  new Emailing just URLs A short quote as a nickname [definitively settled] Inappropriate fidelity
Jargonated Job Titles
  1999-10-28:
Information Technology Problem Resolution Advisor


Jargon du Jour

ex-post hoaxo

2001-06-05: Descriptive of a virus unleashed in the wake of a virus hoax, to take advantage of the confusion left by the hoax's social engineering.

The first ex-post hoaxo virus to receive wide notice was a copy of the W32Magistr@MM set loose in the aftermath of the sulfnbk.exe hoax, in June 2001. According to this CNET story, the term was coined by Rob Rosenberger, editor of the virus information site Vmyths.com:

Symantec has already detected legitimate viruses sent after hoax viruses meant to lower computer users' guard. Rosenberger calls the increasingly common phenomenon ex-post hoaxo.

Google shows no hits for the phrase yet. I don't know whether Google's spiders visit CNET, but they certainly hoover the Jargon Scout.

___

Sand Hill roadkill

2001-03-16: Used to characterize a failed dot-com or a hapless employee thereof. More particularly, this term might be used when the demise of a dot-com can be laid squarely at the door of its venture-capital investors.

At this writing Google shows not even one instance of Sand Hill roadkill in use on the Web.

Thanks to TBTF Irregular Rodney Thayer for the coinage. Thayer notes that when he has used the term in conversation, "everybody immediatly knows what you mean."

As it turns out, the term Sand Hill roadkill had been coined once before, in June 2000. One of the principals in the LA-based marketing consulting firm Centrifuge Partners picked up the domain name sandhillroadkill.com to support a business approach that the company did not end up pursuing. (See here for an explanation of their original "viral marketing" idea.) The current sandhillroadkill.com site is a single page featuring a cheery "death" Tarot card, the caption: "We're still out digging up dot com bones and performing autopsies so we can help others avoid similar fates. Back soon." and a suitable little verse by the late Dorothy Parker. (And now, a link to the Jargon Scout.)

The corresponding .net and .org names are available at this writing. Sandhillroadkill.org would be especially appropriate for a drop-in center providing recovering dot-commers with resources, advice, and caffe latte.

___

Barney relationship

2001-02-05: A business relationship in which no actual business is conducted, and the relationship extends no farther than the issuance of a press release saying, in essence, "I love you, you love me."

At this writing Google shows but a single instance of this useful term on the Web, in Bank Technology News.

A lot of banks are into what we call a Barney relationship: I love you, you love me, but they don't put any elbow grease into it.

Submitted by the indefatigable Faisal Jawdat, who has now (2001-02-09) found another cite for the term.

___

schleptop
also schlepptop

updated 2001-02-05: Simon Sharwood suggests this term for the big, clunky, nasty old laptop that you're required to schlep around. Schleptop seems quite natural, so it is surprising that Google reveals only one use of the term in English. (There are three more in German.) The English cite is in a 1999 number of NQPAOFU (Notes Quotes Provocations and Other Fair Use), a labor of love by artist Jouke Kleerebezem, which repays exploration.

here Updated 2001-02-07: Tom Dunne wrote to inform the Jargon Socut that the term schlepptop, spelled with two ps, is quite common in German. Its origin is the German verb schleppen, meaning to haul, to drag, or to break your back carrying. (The same meaning comes into English slang by way of Yiddish.) Googling for the Germanized spelling yields 362 citations. In the first 50, only one is not in the German language. Several are Web server logs that record visits from, for example, schlepptop.dol.ru.

___

retalirator

2001-02-05: TBTF Irregular Dave Birch submits this term for one who, on a self-organizing Web site, downgrades the ratings of another user with malice aforethought. The term appeared in a NY Times piece on self-organizing Web sites. (Free registration may be required to follow this link. I can't promise how long it will remain publicly visible.)

His ratings are consistently high, but once in a while he will see one of his articles come under attack by what some Web writers call retalirators.

At this writing, Google shows no other occurrences of the term.

___

dotcommode

2001-02-05: The toilet down which billions of dollars of dot-com stock market valuation recently disappeared.

George Morrison spotted this term at The Register and sent it along. Reg writer Tim Richardson used dotcommode as noun and adjective in reference to the dethroned company -- not to the porcelain throne itself. The Jargon Scout has adjusted the definition, as is his perogative.

___

paraspam

2001-02-05: Online discussions about spam, which take more time to deal with than the spam does.

Jamie McCarthy coined this term in a discussion on the TBTF Irregulars' private mailing list:

Think about this: how much time do you actually spend dealing with spam, every year, as opposed to dealing with messages about spam?

Two or three times a year, a mailing list I'm on will get into a lengthy discussion about spam that lasts for a few dozen messages. I get about 1 actual spam a day, so my volume of spam and paraspam is pretty close, within a factor of 2 or 3.

But I deal with spam by hitting the delete key, whereas paraspam demands (and usually gets) my reasonably full attention. In many cases I actually spend several minutes writing a response. All in all, I can safely say my mental activity is taken up by paraspam at least two orders of magnitude longer than by actual spam.

You do realize, I hope, that you have just directly experienced paraspam.

___

bone transfer

This term was invented by Miriam Craig Lennox and forwarded to the Jargon Scout by TBTF Irregular Strata Rose Chalup.

When you make a boneheaded error in your DNS master file(s), your secondaries are going to get a bone transfer.

If you've done a bone transfer from cosmic.com today, please purge your cache before trying to send me mail.

___

glocalization

This term was most recently invented by Dan Pelson, CEO of Bolt.com, and appears in passing in this Guardian Unlimited article. Glocalization refers to the work that Web sites, particularly US-based sites, will need to do to prepare for an Internet whose population is more and more dominated by non-English speakers. Read glocalization as market-by-market localization across a global scope of operations. In the article cited above, Jerry Yang stresses Yahoo's corporate priority:

...to be truly global, but to do it in a way that allows local control of content, the product, and the flavour and culture.

Thanks to John Carlyle-Clarke for the cite.

[2000-07-17] Marti Crespo writes that VilaWeb, an online newspaper in Catalonia, has been using the term glocal since 1998. See this article by VilaWeb's director, Vicent Partal.

___

C2C
obsolete; preferred now is P2P, for peer-to-peer.

Michael Bukis suggested this natural coinage to describe networks in which consumer (client) programs talk only to other client programs, with no central business (server) involved. C2C contrasts with the commonly used terms B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer). Examples of C2C networks are Gnutella and Freenet. (The model for Napster might better be characterized as "C2C, catalyzed by B" -- perhaps C2B2C or CBC.)

For those not familiar with Napster, Gnutella, and Freenet, see for background this article I wrote for DigitalMASS. Bukis's C2C coinage provides a non-judgemental term for these distributed networks, which can of course be employed for any number of legitimate purposes, in addition to the shady ones.

___

beltware

Vince d'Eon invented this one while running out the door. He wondered if he had all of his beltware in place:

___

geek keys

Another Vince d'Eon contribution. Geek keys are one instance of beltware (see above) -- a loose deck of passcards enabling access to those areas one needs to get into to do one's job. Most commonly located on the ends of retractable devices clipped to the belts of IT people.

___

dot-communist

Faisal Jawdat sent in this neat coinage. A dot-communist is an employee of a dot-com, particularly one with stock options -- the workers owning the means of production, don't you know -- and one who has bought into the whole new-economy propoganda. Jawdat claims to have invented the term and says he has "bludgeoned it into active use" in his company.

The day after Jawdat's missive, Sumner Redstone cemented the place of "dot-communist" in the lexicon in a speech at the National Association of Broadcasters, which was widely covered. Here's the soundbyte that everyone quoted:

Technology paves the way, but make no mistake, content is the fuel that drives this industry forward. Broadcasting makes money! When did business stop being about making money? Have we been taken over by dot-communists?


Note added 2000-04-21: Matt Peterson writes:
I'm sure many have "invented" this phrase on several occasions previous to either of these accounts. When I worked for XOOM.com, one of my colleagues, John Tucker, used the term dot-communist to mean someone who thinks the Internet should have no commercial uses at all. Specifically, he was speaking of folks who signed up for free XOOM.com services (like page hosting) and then complained when we sent them product offers (which is clearly stated in the terms of service.) I first heard him use this term around April 1999 but he could have started using it earlier.

___

bugwards-compatible

TBTF Irregular Eric Scheid proposed this intuitive adjective, descriptive of software deliberately written to behave in a similar fashion to earlier buggy or non-standard versions.

A Google search turns up six instances of bugwards-compatible, and Alta Vista lists five, the earliest a 1996 posting by Brian Behlendorf.

The term may be primed for wider use thanks to the "doctype switching" feature in Internet Explorer 5 for the Macintosh. An article by Eric A. Meyer explains it:

Authors can use the DOCTYPE element to pick the rendering mode they prefer for their document(s): standards-compliant or bugwards-compatible.


Note added 2000-04-21: Several readers pointed out that variations on this term have existed, and been documented, considerably before 1996. Since at least 1993 the Hacker's Dictionary has listed both bug-compatible and bug-for-bug compatible.

Several TBTF Irregulars have recalled usage of "bug-compatible" in the 90s and before that at TGV; in the 80s in regard to DOS clones and Lotus 1-2-3; and in the 70s at DEC. Anyone who can pin down one of these earlier citations, please write.


___

emailingering

Another submission from Faisal Jawdat, who credits a co-worker for coining the term. It's pronounced "e-malingering." Emailingering describes a particular and common style of avoiding getting anything done at work, using your computer and the Internet as both cause and justification. Here is Jawdat's more fully elaborated definition.

Emailingering is a work-shirking method where one claims and believes that by:

one is being an important contributor despite spending upwards of 85% of one's time engaged in

A key to emailingering is that the more you do, the more email you produce, which means that your fellow emailingerers will fill up your inbox with their own emailingering-generated fluff. For this reason emailingerers like to travel in herds.

___

bizmeth

Adjective; shorthand for a method of doing business patent, sometimes called a business model patent. I first saw a variant of this term on Greg Aharonian's PATNEWS mailing list. He had spelled it "busmeth," but rendering it as bizmeth is more transparent.

___

post-economic

When a person acquires sufficient wealth to retire -- when working becomes optional -- that person is said to have gone post-economic. The dollar figure is subjective, different for every person. Being post-economic is beyond buying the car of your choice, beyond building the house of your dreams. Brad DeLong has surmised that each person's post-economic point (he didn't use that term) can be calculated by multiplying his or her current level of consumption by three. (See here and search for "satiation." Thanks to Dan Kohn for the cite.)

Other terms exist for the condition. In Neal Stephenson's Cryptnomicon, one of the characters kept a little app running on his desktop to calculate and display in real-time the value for what he called f***-you money, defined as that sum of money which will allow you to say the above phrase, but unbowdlerized, to your boss.

The term post-economic might be favored in conversations about the philanthropic and socially worthwhile initiatives undertaken by those with newly sufficient means. F***-you money would be used in rougher contexts, such as the impulse to acquire a different classic car to drive for each day of the week.

Paul Komar wrote in to suggest that, in preference to uttering the above dangerous phrase to your boss, you can just call in rich. Komar notes, "It's nicer, and potentially more permanent."


Note added 2000-08-08: Steve Yost points out the first online sighting of posteconomic beyond these pages: in May 2000 Red Herring.

___

spampoena

A spampoena is an overbroad subpoena of dubious validity "served" by email to unnamed recipients throughout cyberspace. The first spampoena was deployed last January in the DeCSS / MPAA case; the second was just sent out in the matter of CPhack / Cyber Patrol. We may dearly desire that, quashed forthrightly, it will be the last ever served. A judge in Boston -- in a hearing at which no defense attorney was present -- granted a subpoena requiring that a Canadian and a Swede remove certain content from their Web sites. The lawyer for Cyber Patrol's parent company requested and reportedly received permission to "serve" copies of the subpoena by email to hundreds of unknown others in all parts of the world. Several hundred of the spampoenas have been mailed (and fewer received). Here is an example. The ACLU's motion to quash the subpoena concludes:

The subpoenas must be quashed because they were not properly served, because they violate the geographic limitations of Rule 45, and because they impose an undue burden... that raises significant constitutional questions. More fundamentally, they must be dismissed because they are in aid of an underlying case that itself must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, lack of personal jurisdiction, and mootness. It is improper to impose on a third party the burden of any subpoena -- particularly one that raises a host of thorny privacy issues -- in aid of a case that does not belong in this Court in the first place.

___

packet karma

TBTF Irregular Strata Rose Chalup <strata at virtual dot net> coined packet karma because she can't shake the nagging suspicion that the collective weight of the ill-will of Net users might, just might, affect the rate of packet loss at internetwork routers.

I have never paid NSI [over the Web]... NSI has such bad packet karma at this point, I'd worry about using their interface online.

___

laganoia

Tom Whore <tomwhore at inetarena dot com> proposes the term laganoia for the fear, engendered by network lag, of being ignored, shunned, or left behind. The condition can be triggered by delayed email replies, long silences in IRC conversations, dead spots in internet telephony interactions, or even (for those not living on Internet time) out-of-order Usenet posts.

  /msg honeybunn3 do you love me
    ***
    *** [ and the night wore on -- ed. ]
    ***
  /msg honeybunn3 fine ill take tht as a no
  (Disconnect LuvRBoy)
  **HoneyBunn3  yes I love you
  **HoneyBunn3  what do you mean by that

___

component service provider
also CSP

Jim Flanagan <jimfl at tensegrity dot net>, system consultant and blogger, invented this term in a post on the Half Bakery.

While an application service provider supplies an entire app over the Web, a component service provider offers a service, through a defined interface, to applications running on the Web. One such CSP is Take It Offline, which recently defined an XML-RPC interface. Using this interface, other Web sites can call upon TIO to provide the functionality for discussion forums.

___

clicks 'n' mortar
also clicks 'n' bricks, bricks 'n' clicks
antonym: clicks not bricks

Suddenly this phrase -- in all its myriad variants -- is everywhere. It is descriptive of an enterprise that aspires to the best qualities of both new-age (online) and old-age (offline) businesses.

TBTF Irregular Marcia Blake got the Jargon Scout's ball rolling with this cite from a Newsbytes story about a Durlacher Research report:

Sarah Skinner, the firm's Internet analyst, said that trading hubs will allow companies based on existing businesses, but who have access to the benefits of the Internet -- defined as "clicks and mortar" firms -- to benefit most from these trading hubs, rather than pure Internet operations.

I had clipped this catch from yesterday's NY Times:

"We have the brand and the distribution, and we've invested in infrastructure, technology, everything to make sure we have a true clicks-and-bricks solution," said Charles R. Morrison, Kinko's vice president for product marketing.

Irregular John Muller nailed the term's source -- clicks and mortar was coined last summer by Charles Schwab Corp. CEO David Pottruck:

Schwab's vision has always been designed around customer needs and the company is engaged in constant reinvention to stay ahead of these powerful investors. Schwab believes that it is the combination of people and technology that investors want -- a "high-tech and high-touch" approach. As such, Schwab is redefining the full-service business around the integration of "clicks and mortar," a phrase coined by Pottruck last July at the Internet Summit sponsored by the Industry Standard.

Never to be outdone, TBTF Irregular Gary Stock forwarded the following cites, all from today's newspapers. (Stock notes that you, too, can get daily rifle-shot clippings like this, on any keywords you want. It's a service offered by the Change Technology team of Aeneid Corp. Email him at <gstock at aeneid dot com> for details. And no, he doesn't get a commission, and neither do I.)
HoustonChronicle.com ...the Asian markets. This investment underscores DoveBid's 'clicks and mortar' approach to offering the value-added services of a...
Business Week Online ...that Main Street businesses will join forces with huge clicks-and-mortar chains, such as Wal-Mart, to push for equal treatment for...
CNNfn ...Internet analyst Sarah Skinner said stock valuations of "clicks and mortar" companies -- those that combine an "old economy" business...
FORTUNE.com ...Time Inc. [Fortune Special: Building Businesses...] Clicks and Mortar The latest common-sense trend in e-commerce blends the...
HoustonChronicle.com ...presence is reflected both in its bricks and mortar and clicks and mortar. It has offices in San Francisco, Houston, Philadelphia,...
New Jersey Star-Ledger ...chair. "For the next generation of online students, clicks not bricks will be their experience, and, the inspiration for their...
___

moved to Atlanta

Anton Sherwood proposed that when following a link results in the 404, page not found error, the now-missing page should be said to have moved to Atlanta. The area code there is 404, you see. Sherwood's coinage was propogated in this article that some guy wrote for Digital MASS.

___

javant-garde

Ted Byfield <tbyfield at panix dot com> coined the term javant-garde. This noun or adjective characterizes someone who espouses a loosely defined set of beliefs based on the assumption that "new media" is somehow cooler or more creative than "old media" and/or whatever computing was before new media.

___

entreprenerd

Roger Whitehead <rgw at office-futures dot com> pointed out an article, no longer online, in the British daily newspaper The Guardian that uses the term entrepenerd to describe people who start up or assist in the startup of Internet businesses. Whitehead notes that the tone of the article indicates that the author did not invent the term.

___

'trep

A shorthand for entrepreneur: for a Web competition, three teenagers built a Web site on e-business for teens. The top page exhorts its teenaged visitors to "empower your inner 'trep" and offers "cool stuff for all of your 'trep needs."

___

dot-commerce

Jason Kottke proposed the elegant neologism .commerce in his blog on 29 September. .commerce is to be pronounced dot commerce and used wherever the worn-out e-commerce suggests itself.

___

blog

  1. n. A Web log.

  2. vi. To run a Web log.

1999-08-25: First spotted on the Eatonweb blog, er, Web log today, though Eatonweb's proprietor Brigitte says the coinage is due to our very own TBTF Irregular Peter Merholz <peterme at peterme dot com>. The contraction sounds like it might have originated in a bad newspaper hyphenation, but it probably didn't.

    I blog      we blog
    you blog    you blog
    he blogs    they blog
The verb to blog is intransitive. That is, Brigitte doesn't blog eatonweb, she simply blogs. The first Web tool that arose to aid in the endeavors of wannabe bloggers is called, of course, Blogger.

___

vortal

n. A vertical portal. "Portals" have been the biggest rage since "push" (remember "push?"), starting in the consumer space as Yahoo broadened its search engine into an Internet destination and gateway, and everybody from MSN to the Grace L. Fergusen Airline and Storm Door Company declared that they were a portal, too. Except, as usual on the Net, no-one could figure out how to make money from them. Vertical portals emerged early this year as destination sites for specialized communities -- e.g., buyers of scientific supplies -- broadened to include other content of interest to their target audiences. Vortals make sense -- it's not hard to explain how they help the bottom line. Then there are intranet enterprise portals, but we won't go there.

I first saw the term vortal in this Technology Post story. Jeremy Schutte <jeremys at eggrock dot com> writes to note that the term was used in the 6/26/99 Economist Survey of Business and the Internet, in the piece The Rise of the Infomediary. "Vortal" was a reference to Adauction.com's relaunch .

___

one-tweak loop

Bob Danforth <dragonwlkr at aol dot com> documents the genesis of a useful term for an all-too-common phenomenon.

In our office [Bolaris & Associates] we have recently invented the name one-tweak loop for a dreaded blackhole in time that I have often been caught in.

Having a project basicly 99% done at 6:00 pm, I decide I can just give it a little tweak and come in in the morning to a fully finished project and we can just send it out. Having solved one problem, the solution brings to light another minor inconsistency that will only take a minute to fix. This of course uncovers another, and so on.

At three in the morning I suddenly discover that probably about 10:00 pm I made a grievous error and in fixing smaller problems have overwritten all originals and backups and am now dead on my seat and will be in no shape to find an old copy of the project and do a slap-up job before it is due the next day.

We named the one-tweak loop taking note of various science fiction stories [such as Groundhog Day] of people who lose their lives (or part thereof) by repeating a small loop in time endlessly without realizing it. We are developing policies to help recognise and defeat this scourge before it ruins an entire day / project / buisness / life / universe.

___

Macwater

If running this service conveys any privileges at all, one of them must be the opportunity to slip in my own coinages from time to time. Macwater tripped off the keyboard yesterday in an email message and the recipient insisted it become a Jargon Scout entry. The Macwater is that stagnant technology pond to which the Macintosh faithful have relegated themselves. Lest this entry subject its author to flame warfare, be it known that I have splashed about in the Macwater since the advent of the Mac Plus in 1984, and continue happily to do so.

___

jarjar

Tom Whore <tomwhore at inetarena dot com> offers this timely intransitive verb, with extensions as adjective and noun.

  1. To add avatars or constructs to something as padding and/or in a superfluous manner.

    • The new MSWord 2000 is so jarjared it takes me an hour to get a memo done up.

  2. To be a superfluous part of something.

    • I have to jarjar at the trade show next week.
       
    • Who's the jarjar giving this demo?

___

filler app From TBTF for 1999-06-14

The ever-inventive Marcia Blake <blakecomm at earthlink dot net>, a TBTF Irregular, passes on a term she used to describe a Net killer-app wannabe to the venture capitalist considering a seed investment:

This is not a Killer App, but a very decent little filler app of the sort that would probably be acquired a day or so after launch.

___

FBC , or Fully Buzzword Compliant From TBTF for 1999-06-14

Larry Carl <larrycarl at home dot com> believes that FBC was coined by his parther John Steely at daVinci TWG in Richmond, VA. Steely holds two M.S. degrees and Microsoft certifications as CP / CSD / CSE / CST. Let Carl tell it:

Several years ago we were talking about all the stuff Microsoft was throwing into NT, to over-match OS/2. John said something like, "Yeah, they are trying to make it fully buzzword compliant." To which I replied, "With all those initials after your name you don't have much room to talk." John then said, "So maybe I could just shorten it to FBC!" We have been using it ever since, in and out of our NT-related training courses, seminars, and consulting gigs.

Fully buzzword compliant is in fairly wide use on Usenet. A recent Deja.com search turned up over 200 separate citations (after removing postings by people who have incorporated the phrase into their signatures). But I couldn't find any similar hits for FBC.

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e2e and offlist From TBTF for 1999-06-14

TBTF Irregular Marcia Blake <blakecomm at earthlink dot net> suggests that the phrase take it offline, as commonly used on listservs and intranets, is patently inaccurate. The intended meaning is to suggest that a topic be discussed outside the community in which the discussion arose; but such removed dialogs still take place online. She suggests as alternatives take it offlist, or take it e2e (email-to-email). This latter invention, back-formed from the common f2f -- face-to-face -- suggests extensions in different directions for other new media: v2v (voice-to-voice) for a phone exchange, and perhaps c2c for online chat.

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netopath From TBTF for 1999-05-08

Spam fighter JoWazzoo <jowazzoo at whiteice dot com> takes credit for coining the term netopath, which is applied to the most extreme and deranged form of Net abuser. The Usenet posting in which JoWazzoo coined the term (7952fe$ggl@chronicle.concentric.net) has expired from the archives of both Deja News and Alta Vista, but this immediate followup post, which references and quotes it, cements JoWazzoo's claim to the invention.

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dog-food as a verb From TBTF for 1999-01-13

Randy Enger <enger at atria dot com> writes that dog-food has been verbed. He recently heard the new usage twice from apparently unrelated sources: once was at a Microsoft acronym-fest and once was in the halls of Rational Software. The phrase to eat our own dog-food is well established to mean that software developers should actually use the products they develop. As far as I know the term originated in internal Microsoft jargon. Here are Enger's sightings for the verbing of dog-food:

At Microsoft:

We have to dog-food this architecture before we release it.

and at Rational, about a new product:

We really need to dog-food this puppy.

(Enger notes that a friend to whom he mentioned this latter usage was dismayed by the cannibalistic imagery.)

___

STFW From TBTF for 1998-12-15

Anton Sherwood <antons at jps dot net> forwards the ringing phrase STFW, which he says he's seen several times on the newsgroup alt.fan.cecil-adams in response to trivial questions, meaning Search the flinking Web. The term is a cyberspace variant on the paper-based RTFM [10], though a more precisely analogous reading might be Surf the fine Website.

Julian Harris <jharris at clear dot co dot nz> claims to have originated the alternate form STFN. Usage:

- Do you know what the latest version of Crystal Reports is?
- Oh come on, STFN.

___

ippie From TBTF for 1997-10-06

What should we call those folks who, long before the availability of cable modems or even nailed-down ISDN lines, convinced the phone company to run a dedicated wire into their house -- 56 Kbps frame relay or T1 -- for full-time Net connectivity at a fixed IP address? Ippies, that's what, according to Adam Engst and Geoff Duncan (who both qualify).

___

innocent by-sender From TBTF for 1997-09-29

TBTF Irregular Glenn Fleishman <glenn at popco dot com> suggests referring to an SMTP host pressed into service unawares to relay commercial spam as an innocent by-sender.

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reverse egosurfing From TBTF for 1997-07-07

Wired Magazine's Jargon Watch has enshrined the term egosurfing for the pastime of feeding your name to search engines to see how widely your fame, or infamy, has spread on the Net. Bill Cheswick <ches at plan9 dot bell-labs dot com> wrote with this example of what we can call reverse egosurfing:

I have been using "egosurfing" to have old friends locate me for about a year now. See this unpublished page, which the search engines know about but no page points to.

Rohit Khare <khare at mci dot net> ofers a second meaning for reverse egosurfing. While egosurfing one fine day he came across a link to one of his pages put up by Alan Cooper <alan at cooper dot com> after he (Cooper) had conducted his own ego-search. In a moment of reverse egosurfing Khare put up a link back to Cooper's page to facilitate the further researches of self-referential Net omphaloskeptics.

John Le Carré (no relation to Khare) might have called this practice "taking back bearings," a term he coined in The Honourable Schoolboy for the art of tracking down opposing agents by divining patterns of damage in the institutional wreckage caused by an enemy mole. ("Mole" is another Le Carré coinage, this one from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- a long-term double agent who has risen to the top ranks of your own service. The term has since been adopted at Langley, or so they tell me.)

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idsurfing From TBTF for 1997-03-09

Egosurfing is the act of feeding your own name to the search engines and visiting the resulting hits. I'd like to propose a related term that rises from a deeper stratum. Idsurfing is the practice of pulling search-engine hits from your own Web site's referrer log file and feeding the successful query strings to a browser. In its aggravated form, which we can call extreme idsurfing, you watch the log with the Unix command tail -f and backtrack your visitors' clickstreams in real time. Don't have immediate access to your logs? Then pay a visit to Savvy Search's voyeur page, which displays a random selection of the strings the search engine's visitors feed it, refreshed every 20 seconds. If some particular search interests you, you can reissue it for yourself.

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fasgrolia From TBTF for 1996-12-24

Carol Yutkowitz <carol at atria dot com> attended the Moft developers' conference in late 1996. She was impressed by the depth and thoroughness of the Microsoft Internet solutions but, like many an engineer who sits in a darkened room absorbing Marketecture presentations, she emerged dazed by the tangle of fasgrolia*. Here is her precìs of the jargon bandied about, without explanatory gloss, by the Microsoft presenters.

PDC, HPC, Active Platform, SMP, ActiveX, HTML, Normandy, ITV, IE, IIS, NTW, Memphis, W&S, WDB, USB, OnNow, DirectX, HSM, SMS, SMTP, POP, NNTP, LDAP, IMAP, SQL, VB, DFS, NTFS, ADO, OLE DB, ODBC, SSL, PPTP, DNS, XDS, ISV, Denali, SNA, LU, HTTP, DCOM, SDK, IPC, DCE, RPC, TCP, UDP, IPX, SPX, Falcon, LOB, IETF, DSWeb, ADS, NDS, MMC, NTDS, ACL, CIFS, MAPI, C2, E3, SSPI, PK, CAPI, TCO, SAM, NCP, IDC, CGI, ASP, CICS, Cedar, K2, RDBMS, ISAM, RDO, DAO, QP, VBS, DTC, XA, UTM, MIME, PROFS, IRC, ISP, JIT, Authenticode, Trident, CAB, JAR, RNI, AWT, IDE, GUID.

*Note: Fasgrolia is defined as "the fast-growing language of initialisms and acronyms" in one of my favorite reference sources, Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words (University Books, Secaucus, NJ, 1974). Mrs. Byrne is Josepha Heifetz Byrne, daughter of the renowned violinist Jascha Heifetz. My copy is autographed. You haven't played "Dictionary" until you've played it using this reference work as the authority.

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internesia From TBTF for 1996-07-21

Dave Birch <daveb at hyperion dot co dot uk> dropped this useful term, immediately recognizable by even tyro Net surfers, on the e$ mailing list:

Internesia -- the growing tendency to forget exactly where in Cyberspace you saw a particular bit of information.

Jargon Invention

Please drop a note to dawson at world dot std dot com if you can suggest a term befitting these conditions. Responses will be immortalized here.

bul Emailing just URLs

Bruce J. McKenzie <bruce at doublepup dot com> writes:

A bunch of friends have gotten in the habit of forwarding URLs among ourselves. It's easier to send just the URL than to excerpt and send commentary.

So, what do you call the process of forwarding URLs to people, rather than forwarding real content?

I submit the verb to hurl, as in "What did you think of that dog site I hurled at you last week?". It has the following features:

  1. short
  2. alliterative
  3. connotes motion
  4. instantly understood

Is there already a term for this? Is the world crying out for one?

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bul A short quote as a nickname From TBTF for 1996-08-18

Aaron Hinkhouse <taji at cris dot com> writes:

What do you call--or what should we call--the practice of, the instance of, putting a witty and/or ironic statement in between one's name at the end of a message. I.e....

      John "what do you call THIS" Doe

I see this on the newsgroups a lot (alt.folklore.urban specifically). I can't think of what to call it myself, except to note it's in the position that nicknames go, and maybe something can be coined from that -- hey, maybe just "nick" or "nicking". I don't know.

Aaron "feeling the pressure to be witty here" Hinkhouse

Eric S. Raymond <esr at snark dot thyrsus dot com>, keeper of the Net's venerable Jargon File, put this one to bed. Spoils all our fun, does ESR.

Answer: there is no need for a new coinage. This [is] called an infix; the emphatic form is "snarky infix" :-).

The term became common on the General Technics mailing list many years ago; the practice is very long established there, and indeed the composition of witty infixes has become an art form, with list messages frequently being elaborate setups for a punchline that is only revealed in the infix.

I was one early vector for the spread of the infix meme to USENET; I consciously started propagating this art form to other lists and newsgroups at least five years ago, at which time it was unknown outside the GT list. There were certainly others; at least two longtime GT people that I know of are a.f.u regulars.

Here for amusement and the interest of posterity are the deep thoughts of the twenty-one readers who tackled the question.

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bul Inappropriate fidelity From TBTF for 1996-02-27

Alert reader Peter H. Levin <PeterL at trellix dot com> inspires this example. He picks up and generalizes an odd wrinkle in the operation of IBM's Aqui (see "Organized copyright violation" in TBTF for 1996-02-19).

Interesting glitches arise from the literalness with which texts are copied on the web. You reported one instance, although you were making a different point:

: I wrote at the bottom of my page "Copyright, all rights
: reserved," and the words persist on Aqui's copy.

I recently downloaded a tax form in pdf from the IRS site. When I printed it I found at the bottom the recycling symbol and the words "printed on recycled paper."

Do you know a jargonesque way to denote this inappropriate faithfulness to the original?

Five readers have weighed in. Note that the most recent, Joshua McGee, has managed with his answer to turn the Jargon Scout page into a Klein Bottle. Or perhaps he's just pointing out that I had already done so.

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Jargonated Job Titles

Nik Crabtree <nik at raven-darque dot demon dot co dot uk> writes that while he finds the Jargon Scout refreshing and amusing, but he actually came across it while searching for jargonated job titles. Crabtreee proffers the first entry in this new category, below. Please drop a note to dawson at world dot std dot com if you have seen others; entries with URL citations are especially welcome.

bul Information Technology Problem Resolution Advisor

An earlier, less jargon-ridden age referred to people like this as helpdesk staffer or perhaps helpdesk telephone answerer.



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