We have some interesting discussions around our dinner table. In fact, they can be pretty strange. Sometimes they’re very technical. Or should I say technological. Maybe it’s both, because when we discuss technological terminology, we can get very technical. Maybe I should give you an example of what I’m talking about.
One evening a few months ago, we were sitting around the table, enjoying the remains of a wonderful meal, and doing what we do best: talking. The topic of our conversation was one that we had discussed many times before, needing a solution to a certain problem, always thinking of solutions, and never succeeding in following up on the solutions we came up with, because we didn’t know if they were really good solutions after all. It was a persistent problem, which got more frustrating the longer we waited to follow up on a solution. (It was a lesson in patience. 🙂 ) The topic: our website/blog.
So there we were, trying to figure out what in the world we were going to do about our pitiful “website”: how we were going to update it, who we were going to get to help us update it, what we were going to put on it, how we would keep up with a blog…
“WHAT is a BLOG?” someone suddenly asked. “Who in the world came up with the name “blog” and what made them do it?” Dad explained that the word “blog” is actually an abbreviation of “web-log” – in other words, a record or journal that is posted on the web. That drew everyone’s attention, and we all began to ponder the meanings of different computer terms.
“How did we come up with a “cursor”?” someone else asked with a laugh. “A “curser” used to be someone who cursed!”
“And if you think about what a “laptop” is, it’s kinda funny. A laptop used to be a place for children to snuggle with their mothers; now it’s a flat, rectangular box with buttons and lights, with a lot of wires and stuff on the inside!”
“What about a mouse?” another person volunteered. “A mouse is a four-footed little varmint with a long tail that runs around in people’s houses and makes them scream.”
“And how ‘bout RAM? A ram is a male sheep, like the ones that they used to sacrifice in Bible days.”
“OR,” some mischievous personality added, using the unfortunate sibling beside them for a demo, “it could be when I RAM into you all of a sudden!!”
Of course, everyone had to laugh at that! 🙂 It became a very intriguing conversation as we discussed how confused someone could become with all the double terms. We laughed at the very SOUND of names like “floppy disk”, “JPEG”, and “thumb drive”, and debated the origins and meanings of other terms, such as “hard drive”, “cd-rom”, and “software.” (For instance, “hardware” means tools for manual labor, but “software” is a kind of – what? A series of ones and zeros that tells a computer what to do. Huh??) Take this for an example of multiple meanings: I asked a few different people what a “bit” is. Mom’s definition was “a small piece of a yummy chocolate dessert.” Victoria said a “bit” is “a steel bar that goes into a horse’s mouth to control it.” Kathryn’s idea was a “small piece of metal that you use with a drill to bore holes.” However, according to the Daddy Dictionary of Technology, a “bit” is “the smallest increment of electronic data: a one or a zero.” Then I asked about a “byte.” Mom’s answer could be expected: “the first taste of the yummy bit!” 🙂 Jessi’s immediate thought was “what a bug does to you!” Kathryn said that a “bite” is “what the teething infant does to your shoulder.” And, last but not least, the Daddy Dictionary of Technology explained that a “byte” REALLY is “a collection of bits that form one character.” Whew! If that’s not enough to make one flumbuzzled! We could go on and on; I wanted to ask about a megabyte… but lets just say that that’s one monster mouth!
So, the next time you decide to get technical, you could think about the OTHER definitions of your technological terminology!!! Anyone have any other terms to define? 🙂
P.S. Using all of these terms makes ME feel kinda strange; I wonder what it feels like to be a REAL techno-geek?? 🙂