Buzzwords For Browsers

Dotcommers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your linguistic rights. But who cares? The Web has created its own vocabulary which may sound like Greek to the unconnected. To impress the rest of the world, you need to master some buzzwords of today.

Here's the dirty dozen from the dotcom dictionary, compiled by trolling the worldwide web and sites such as c/net, which regularly monitor the present and future of the digital lifestyle.

Bandwidth: This is a measure of the amount of data that a transmission line can carry, but today's young 'n' restless have put a new spin on the word to mean the amount of time or resources that one might have, such as "Hey guys, we need more bandwidth to work on this job today."

Eyeballs: Those who make money by attracting users or rather their eyeballs to different Internet sites use this to measure the amount of traffic that a website attracts. The alternative word is Hits, but use eyeballs when you talk to advertising and PR people.

Podcasting: Downloading audio files from the Net onto music players such as the iPod. With the explosion in the use of cheap MP3 players, podcasting has come to take up a large chunk of the bandwidth used to send audio, video and text files zooming across the Net.

Guru: An expert in any technical topic, such as Linux or Oracle, is automatically dubbed a "guru" or a "punter". For example: "The system has crashed. Get the `guru' to fix it."

Cluebie: A newbie or newcomer with a clue, that is, some vague idea about the subject, but clearly not a `guru'.

Brick and Mortar: A somewhat derisive term used today to describe companies who still function in the old fashion way, at buildings created presumably with brick and mortar. In sharp contrast to virtual Web companies such as Amazon or e-bay, whose address is a web-page, the fashionable thing these days is to say: "You are transitioning to bricks to clicks."

Sync-up: Short for synchronise. This used to mean adjusting the clocks in two systems, so that they are identical at start-up. The phrase has morphed (see below) to mean sharing information between two people, as in "Let's sync-up tomorrow at Coffee Day, to trash out the project."

Morph: The term is born in computer graphics and literally means the gradual transformation of one face or picture to another, in the hands of irreverent students of animation. This means turning Aishwarya Rai into an Alsatian in four easy steps. However, the word today is a fashionable way of saying "transform".

Cookies: Not the edible kind. These are tiny chunks of code that are sent to your hard disk when you go to certain websites. They sit on your computer and allow nameless agencies to recognise you the next time you go to the same site. Most of them are a nuisance and you can find "cookie-cutter" software to periodically flush them from your system. Unfortunately, cookies are also used by the good guys and many legitimate Net services require that you enable cookies, at least for a short time.

Snail Mail: Insulting way of referring to the old post office system of sending and receiving letters, and mostly used by the young for whom e-mail is the new way. At least in the old way, you only got the mail you wanted, not a hundred other pieces of unsolicited stuff for which they have invented yet another word, Spam.

For other words of the Internet age that might puzzle, provoke or petrify you, look up this resource:

Courtesy: The Hindu

Internet Slang

Internet users have developed many slang terms over the years. Most of these are not actually acronyms as they cannot be pronounced, but that is what they are called nonetheless. Many of these terms originated for saving keystrokes and are often written in lower case:

The peculiar thing about internet abbreviations is that many people make them up on the fly, therefore these abbreviations can often be confusing, and impossible to completly cover without being impossibly meticulate. This type of on-the-spot abbreviating leads to doldrums of such things as: OTP (on the phone), PO (pissed off), or the more common, OPTD (outside petting the dog). Another thing common to internet communication is the truncation and morphing of words to more typing-friendly forms. These may one day creep into common usage and end up in the dictionary. Some examples of this are:

A special case of this last form is 'teh'. This is the corruption of 'the', and often pops up spontaneously when typing fast. So common is it, in fact, that it has made the jump to purposeful usage. Typically it is used in situations where one is being self-consciously enthusiastic, mimicking the less-grammatical Internet newbie: "That movie was teh suck!!", "The fight scene with all the Agent Smiths was TEH AWESOME", etc.

Internet writing is, by its nature, difficult to interpret, especially in chatrooms or on instant messaging, because much of it is quickly input, and many assume, falsely, their audience knows their body language. For instance; a LOL may be taken as genuine laughter or sarcasm, or as "whatever, stay away from me." So, for the sake of accurate and easily understandable communication, it is best to be as explicit as possible and make an effort to get your point across. Smilies such as :) can also be used to clarify emotional intent in internet messages.

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