Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 97 14:35:13 -0800
Subject: Jargon Watch
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: "Harry I. Rubin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
+ Ant Farms
Huge multiscreen theater complexes with glass facades, often found near
North American malls. Also called gigaplexes.
+ Arrow Shooters
The visionaries in an organization who come up with the ideas and trace
their far-reaching trajectories. (see "Road Builders")
The process through which some people achieve career success by sucking up
to the boss.
That seasick feeling that some people get with virtual reality headsets.
Caused by a conflict in the brain; the eyes register movement but the inner
ear dosen't feel it.
+ Barney Page
A web page designed to capitalize on a current trend (such as Barney
bashing). "Have you seen the new OJ Simpson Barney Page?"
+ Battle Faxes
A cycle of nasty faxes exchanged between clients and lawyers, fighting
lovers, et cetera. "Here's the latest round of battle faxes with my
To assume responsibility for recording incoming pages on behalf of a
vacationing or otherwise out-of-range beeper-owning friend. "Rebecca is
beeper-sitting for Jenny while she's in Florida."
When a technology is over-taken by an inferior but better-marketed one.
"Apple was betamaxed out of the market by Microsoft."
One who uses a coin-operated computer terminal installed in a coffee house
to log into cyberspace.
The brief seizure people sometimes encounter when their beepers go off,
especially in vibrator mode. Characterized by physical spasms, goofy facial
expressions, and stopping speech in mid-sentence.
+ Blow a Buffer
Euphemism for spacing out or losing one's train of thought. "I blew a
buffer, and now I can't remember what I was going to say."
A unit of stupidity. "Is it just me or is there always a high bozon count
in Andrew's posts?"
+ Chainsaw Consultants
Outside experts brought in to reduce the employee headcount thereby leaving
the top brass with clean hands.
+ Chip Jewelry
An old computer destined to be scrapped or turned into decorative ornaments.
"I paid three grand for that Mac SE, and now it's nothing but chip jewlery."
+ Client-Server Action
Geek euphemism for having sex. "I went to Tim's party the other night
hoping for a little client-server action."
Unsolicited floppy disks, such as the ubiquitous AOL software, that arrive
in one's mailbox on a regular basis.
A badly written or profoundly useless Java applet. "I just wasted 30
minutes downloading this stinkin' crapplet!"
+ Crash Test Dummies
Those of us who pay for unstable, not-ready-for-prime-time software marketed
by greedy computer companies.
Abbreviation for the Church of Scientology.
One who makes a living doing online research and information retrieval.
+ Dancing Baloney
Gratuitous animated GIFs and other Web special effects that are used to
impress clients. "This page is kinda dull... maybe a little dancing baloney
To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from the experiences
of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. "I've been dilberted
again. The old man revised the specs for the fourth time this week."
A mistake in computer documentation.
Coming out of online "lurking" mode, usually motivated by an irresistable
need to flame about something. "I just had to delurk and add my two cents
worth to that conversation about the Singapore caning."
A species, nearing extinction, of designers who refuse to use computers.
+ Dorito Syndrome
Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction triggered by addictive substances
that lack nutritional content. "I just spent six hours surfing the Web,
and now I've got a bad case of Dorito Syndrome."
Internet predudice. Judging someone by how cool/uncool their e-mail address
is. "Why should anyone listen to you, you're posting from AOL?"
Empty Magnanimous Gesture. As in "We think your idea is great and would
love to fund it, but (insert excuse here)."
Another one of those dubious "e-" abbreviations. This one is for
+ Flash Crowds
Swarms of users on a computer network, that appear and disappear, all in a
+ Flight Risk
Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave a company
or department soon.
Someone who's clueless. From the WWW error message "404 URL Not Found".
"Don't bother asking him... he's 404, man."
People who enjoy emulating anthropomorphs, not to be confused with people
who post on alt.sex.bestiality.
+ Gang FAQ
When a group e-mails a FAQ to an individual who has asked a particularly
stupid or old question on a newsgroup. This differs from a mailbomb in that
each person sends only one copy, but numerous members of the newsgroup
The area surrounding one's computer where trinkets, personal mementos, toys,
and "monitor pets" are displayed. A place where computer geeks show their
Corporate-speak for sleeping with your eyes open. A popular pastime at
conferences and early-morning meetings.
+ Graybar Land
The place you go while you're staring at a computer that's processing
something very slowly (while you watch the gray progress bar creep across
your screen). "I was in graybar land for what seemed like hours."
+ Hand Salsa
The slimy substance left on a mouse or joystick after a harrowing round of
a high stress video game. "Sure, you can play, if you don't mind the hand
+ Hose and Close
A pattern of behavior exhibited by phone tech-support people who spout a
bunch of jargon you don't understand, ask you to perform a bunch of
procedures you don't follow, and then abruptly hang up."
+ Hourglass Mode
Waiting in limbo for some expected action to take place. Refers to the
hourglass icon used in Microsloth Windows.
Netspeak for "journalist".
(Pronounced "jute") Stands for Just One Of Those Things. Inexplicable
computer problems that appear and then fix themselves or are fixed by
turning the machine off and/or reinstalling the software. You have no idea
what caused the problem or why it went away. It was JOOTT.
+ Juice a Brick
To recharge the big, heavy NiCad batteries used in portable video cameras.
Brickette, a AA size NiCad battery.
+ Kodak Courage
An extra dose of courage and the tendency to go beyond one's physical limits
when being filmed or photographed.
An extreme form of arrogance found in multimedia authors who think they're
+ Link Rot
The process by which links on a Web page become obsolete as the sites
they're connected to change location or die.
The act of watching; but not participating in, chat line discussions.
+ NASCII Art
Porno images rendered in simple ASCII text.
Someone who frequents only one or two newsgroups, BBS topics, or who logs
on just to answer e-mail, never daring to venture out into the big waters
of the Net.
(No Response Necessary) A proposed e-mail convention to prevent endless
back-and-forth acknowledgments: "Thanks for the info." "You're welcome...
hope it helps." "I hope so to, thanks." By putting NRN at the bottom of
your mail, you absolve the receiver from having to reply, thus saving
valuable e-mail time.
+ Off the Grid
Euphemism for being off the Net. "Sorry I didn't e-mail you last week; I
was off the grid in Mexico." Also refers to someone living in a rural area
without running water, electricity, or phone service.
+ Open-Collar Workers
People who work at home or telecommute.
Tech support shorthand for "Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard". A
way of indicating that there's nothing wrong with the computer -- the user
is clueless, in other words; "Loser Error".
+ Peter Panning
The process of reattaching a shadow in a graphics application. Named after
the boy who asked Wendy to sew his shadow back on.
+ Picasso Porn
The semi-scrambled transmissions from adult cable channels that can
sometimes be seen (and heard) by nonsubscribers.
Term for either a temp worker or a new addition to a work staff, who covers
work overflow. "She's a plug for Clint until he gets back in June."
A new hire who doesn't need any training. "The new guy, John, is great.
He's totally plug-and-play."
People who claim to be bisexual because they think it's hip but would never
have a sexual encounter with someone of the same sex.
Quarterly Charm Deficiency. An emotional disorder that arises in executives
at the end of each fiscal quarter.
+ Render Wander
Walking around the building chatting to people while the progress bar of
some ponderous application makes its infinite journey across your screen.
+ Road Builders
The people in an organization who come along behind the arrow shooters and
pave the way for profitable applications.
+ ROM brain
Someone who spews forth ideas and opinions but can't seem to accept any
input from the outside world.
Those who are intensely involved in the business of seeking out and
+ Sacrificial Host
A computer server placed outside of an organization's Internet fire wall to
provide a service that might otherwise compromise the local net's security.
+ Salmon Day
The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get
screwed in the end.
A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, shits all over everything,
+ Send Storm
A deluge of private chat messages while one is trying to do something else
online. "Sorry, I'm currently the victim of a send storm. I'll be with you
in a moment."
When a store's electronic scanner prices an item higher than the price noted
on the store's shelf or advertisement.
Small Indulgence Syndrome. Spending money on small luxuries and frivolous
purchases when hard economic times prevent purchasing big-ticket items such
as cars, houses, and expensive vacations.
Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage - What yuppies turn into
when they have children and one stops working to be with the kids. The true
martyrs of Reagonomics.
Short for Slogan+Logo. Corporate slogans used repeatedly, in a manner
similar to a logo. Nike's "Just Do It" is a prime example.
The practice of entering the same keyword multiple times on a Web page to
force it to the top of search results in a search engine.
+ Squirt the Bird
To transmit a signal up to a satellite.
+ Stalker Site
A Web site created by an obviously obsessed fan. "Have you seen that
Gillian Anderson stalker site? The guy's got like 200 pictures of her."
+ Stress Puppy
A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiney. "I'd like
to work Patrick, but he's too much of a stress puppy... everything's a
+ Super Seacher
+ Swiped Out
An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic
strip is worn away by extensive use at gas pumps, grocery checkouts, and
bank machines. "We wanted to stop for suds, but my card was swiped out and
we couldn't get cash."
+ Time Porn
Popular entertainment, such as Cheers, Seinfeld, and Mad About You, where
people never seem to have anything to do except hang out. They tease us
with the forbidden leisure time we all covet but can't have.
+ Toy Value
Useless gewgaws in a program or product. "The animation screens in this
backup program may have some toy value but they slow everything down to a
A sexual relationship of dubious standing. "This is Cher, my... um...
Euphemism for being fired.
+ Under Mouse Arrest
Getting busted for violating an online service's rules of conduct.
Another term for X-rated software.
The real meaning, World Wide Wait.
+ Yuppie Food Coupons
Crisp, new $20 bills that spew from ATMs everywhere. Often used when trying
to split the bill after a meal. "We all owe $8, but all anybody's got is
yuppie food coupons."
+ Zen Mail
E-mail messages that arrive with no text in the message body.
© 1997 Peter Langston