Jim's Computer


What are acronyms? Acronyms are engineers failing attempts to communicate with the general public, us. The reason it fails is SAMBA, Unix, VGA, 1080i and USB mean nothing to us, the general public. When we hear "samba" we think racial slur(from the 50's). Unix sounds like "unisex" - clothing or a restroom perhaps. VGA sounds like PGA, right? They say "1080i", we think a BMW model. For the last one, We only hope you don't get a case of "USB" (it's terminal).

This is an example of engineerspeak: "the unit consists of a vertical structure composed of a conical top supported by a semi rigid torso with twin semi functional appendages with limited movement. In addition, the whole assembly is supported by a mechanical method of transport, when engaged, deliver movement via a gravity based use of shifting balance".  To us, they are describing the Tin Man from the wizard of Oz.

In order to further confuse, there is a shorthand if you will, an attempt to create a type of slang that only they understand. An example: WYSIWYG is pronounced "wisseewig". Most of us know this as "what you see is what you get". This is not the same as calling a BMW a "beamer".

In closing, remember that there is a lot of information being handed down and sometimes it really means something. Megabits - Mb are different from megabytes - MB. So, exact spelling and capitalization are important as well as context. DisplayPort is an upcoming way to hook up all your video playthings that surpasses HDMI, not something a cop says during a strip search!

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