gloss vs. glossary: a losing battle
A colleague beefs: I called Nokia today and in one message they said go to “nokia dot com backslash support” but to add insult they said in a subsequent message go to “nokia dot com forward slash support”
And jeez ain’t she right?? And this isn’t just the problem of people saying “backslash” (\) when they mean “slash” (/), though I could go off on THAT for an hour, too.
This is the problem of people who CONSUME things talking like the people who MAKE things. Raise your hand if you’ve ever talked about a “shot” in a movie … I certainly have … as in “Didn’t you love that shot where Riggs jumps on a motorcycle and starts chasing the bad guys while behind him there’s an airplane taking off? Man, what a great shot!”
The general public adopted the word “shot” some time in the 50s or 60s, I would guess, when filmmakers became pop heroes. “Shot” is how filmmakers and film critics talk and most of us aren’t either.
I know that when it comes to usage, there’s ultimately no such thing as bad, but when people say “site” when they mean “page” and “blog” when they mean “blog entry” and “podcast” when they mean any piece of audio anywhere on the Internets, it gives me “angst.”
… even though I’m not a philosopher or a psychiatrist.
To him who has reached the Tao and is
master of his true Self, the universe
shall be dissolved.
Should he find himself in the company of
loud and aggressive persons, he is like
a lotus growing in muddy water;
touched but not soiled.
Sensei, does this mean I should cut through misapplied jargon with a sword, or stand still and listen to the rush of air and chaos move past me as I remain motionless, like the stones of the walk?
“If a sword is always sheathed, it will become rusty, the blade will dull, and people will think as much of its owner.”
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