I was browsing Cracked.com and chanced upon 8 Medical Terms Your Doctor Uses to Insult You. Cool idea, I thought, because the computing community has words like that, too. Here’s the list.
If you see one of these expressions stamped on your support ticket at the computer repair center, or if the field engineers at your office bandy these terms about while hanging out in your cubicle, you might want to brush up on your skills or adjust your attitude just a tad. They’re all red-stamped jargon terms that mean the problem is you, not the computer.
asbestos cork award – Asbestos is a flame-retardant substance, and flaming is of course the expression for hostile, abusive language online. So the “award” is one suggesting that your complaints and insults need to be contained. And guess where they think the asbestos cork needs to be inserted?
B1FF – The classic dummy, who is also naive and yet convinced that they know everything. This expression and others like it go back decades, some of them even older than computers themselves. Synonyms: D00D, 1337 H4X0R, AOLer. The mark of B1FFs everywhere is talking in text-message abbreviations and “leetspeak” – not due to stupidity, mind you, but because they think that this makes them cool.
BFI error – “brute force and ignorance” Suggests that you just broke your computer by using a lot of strength and very little intelligence. For instance, having jammed a USB drive into your printer port using a hammer. It also applies to designers who do things the long, hard, and stupid way rather than thinking ten minutes to come up with the correct, short, elegant solution.
DDTT! – “Don’t Do That Then!”, the canonical answer to about half of user’s problems. As in: “Whenever I click WetLesbians.com I get malware installed on my Internet Explorer toolbar.” “Don’t do that, then!” Using the abbreviation is a way for one engineer to tell another that your problems are always self-inflicted and you refuse to get a clue about it.
EOU – “End Of User” Derived from the ASCII character “EOF” for “End Of File”. Wishful thinking on the irritated geek’s part.
GWF – “Goober With Firewall” What you get when you take an ordinary clueless loser and give them hypersensitive security software. This means that you are over-reacting and being paranoid about every little warning. However, it takes some savvy to tell an important warning from an easily dismissed one.
ID10T error – Of course, you recognize it here, but the beauty of this is that when you pronounce it out loud: “I D ten T error!” it sounds official. You can yell it out loud over the aisles at Fry’s Electronics. Users never clue in.
Joe Sixpack – The stereotypical average ‘luser’. A Joe Sixpack may also be somebody who would be intelligent enough to know about computers if they took the time to learn them, but don’t because they don’t care and ‘just want it to work’. You could probably get thousands of hits from Slashdot alone from searching for this name, which is bandied about in discussing how well the average user will be able to deal with the software or interface under discussion. In relating an older Joe, the names “Aunt Tillie”, “gramma”, or “mom” might be used, with the same implication.
luser – A combination of “user” and “loser”, pronounced like the latter. Very generic and offhand, used to refer to all users in general. Even if you hack Lisp while running NetBSD, you might still be called a ‘luser’ by your more experienced colleagues or your system admin, so don’t take this too personally.
MicroDroid – Originally it meant one who works for Microsoft Corporation, but now is commonly seen extending to brainwashed Microsoft-Windows-centric users who simply cannot comprehend doing anything other than the Windows way, even if they’re on another system. To qualify as a MicroDroid, you have to believe that Bill Gates invented the computer and that all computers on the Earth look just like your Windows XP desktop; merely being a Windows user isn’t enough.
PEBKAC – “Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair” Pretty self-explanatory.
PHB – “Pointy Haired Boss” From the Dilbert comic strip. Engineer Dilbert’s boss has two horn-shaped points of hair on his head and is amazingly stupid, yet he’s in charge so Dilbert has to try to do whatever he says. This expression has spread to people who don’t even read Dilbert. A symbol for clueless managers everywhere.
Salesdroid, salesdrone – Generic derogatory term for the sales department, whether you’re working with them in the office or trying to buy a printer from them at OfficeMax. Salespersons are often looked down on by engineers, because they’re selling stuff they don’t even understand. It’s natural for sales workers and engineers to not get along anyway.
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