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Tech Terms Defined Redefined

November 29, 2016

I love clever definitions of technology-related terms. In the past I mentioned the IBM Jargon and General Computing Dictionary (which will be 30 years old soon).

Here's a similar list that -- while it's directed toward an academic audience -- is more up-to-date. Don't worry, you'll recognize all these terms:

Analytics, n. pl. The use of numbers to confirm existing prejudices, and the design of complex systems to generate these numbers.

App, n. An elegant way to avoid the World Wide Web.

Asynchronous, adj. The delightful state of being able to engage with someone online without their seeing you, while allowing you to make a sandwich.

Badges, n. pl. The curious conceit that since nobody likes transcripts or degrees, the best thing to do is to shrink them into children’s sizes that nobody recognizes. (see Open Badges)

Best practice, n. An educational approach that someone heard worked well somewhere. See also "transformative," "game changer," and "disruptive."

Chromebook, n. A device that recognizes that the mainframe wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Cloud, n. 1. A place of terror and dismay, a mysterious digital onslaught, into which we all quietly moved. A “just other people’s computers.”

Counsel, n. Well paid, well trained in neither education nor technology, and rules decisively on (and against) both.

Forum, n. 1. Social Darwinism using 1980s technology.

Infographic, n. An easy way to avoid reading and writing.

Powerpoint, n. 1. A popular and low cost narcotic, mysteriously decriminalized.

Shadow IT department, n. A mysterious alliance that does a lot of work on campus. It seems to include little start-up companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and others.

You'll find many more definitions in that link. Or just check out the Original Hacker's Dictionary or the Business Jargon Dictionary.

I am sure that there are other tech dictionaries written in a similar vein. Please share your favorites in comments.

Posted November 29, 2016 | Permalink

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