mm030: The ten most hated words on the Internet

June 23, 2007

From Ars Technica (–>) via Digg (–>):

The Internet has much to answer for, but one of its chiefest sins is its relentless stupifidication of the English language. And no, I did not just make up the word “stupifidication.”1

UK pollsters YouGov have just completed a survey on the web’s most-hated words, the abominations that threaten to turn English into a long series of “plzkthxbye” utterances. At the top of the list (and rightly so) is the word “folksonomy.” It’s followed by:

  • Blogosphere
  • Blog
  • Netiquette
  • Blook (don’t ask)
  • Webinar
  • Vlog
  • Social Networking
  • Cookie
  • Wiki

Now, any survey of this type isn’t designed to get at some sort of mythical objective truth about the Internet’s effects on English; it’s designed to come up with a handy top-ten list that journalists can use to pad out slow news days. As such, it’s just a measure of people’s pet peeves, so this seems as good a time as any to share a few of my own that didn’t make the official list.

  • AJAXify. As in, “I’m just going to AJAXify the web site and then we’ll be all Web 2.0 and stuff.” “To AJAX” is not an English verb. Please don’t use it as one.
  • Web 3.0. Web 2.0 wasn’t bad enough, huh? Shove a finger into that soft spot at the back base of your ear and you’ll know how I feel about this one.
  • Podcast. Our own Peter Bright has a well-known man crush on Steve Jobs but can’t abide the term “podcast” when used to describe any recorded audio placed online in any format. He has… strong feelings about this.
  • Crowdsourcing. Typing tags on other people’s photos? I want in. Wait. No I don’t.
  • Flash mobs. Hipsters show up in public parks at the same time using only text messages and web sites; NO PAPER SIGNS NEEDED. This is not, it has to be said, a huge breakthrough.

So there you have it: my non-objective collection of irritants. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go blog about a webinar.

1Okay, I did. Score another blow for the Internet-based assault on English!

The ten most hated words on the Internet

My business is webinars, although I prefer the term web conferencing, some of my best clients use the term and thus by default so do I. Sigh.

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mm029: The Bing Blog Working from home? «

June 23, 2007

Discovered at Digg this morning… take it from one who knows, these are pretty spot on.

Hi there. It’s Friday afternoon and I thought I would offer a few suggestions to those of you who have told your bosses that you are “working from home” today:

1. DO NOT leave your cell phone back in the living room when you step out to the diner for a couple of hours.
2. DO take your BlackBerry and cell phone when you go to the bathroom.
3. DO schedule a few short conference calls with anybody who works for you, since they are probably at the office cursing your name. This will show them you are fully engaged in the business of the day, which, of course, you are!
4. DO NOT start a complex e-mail chain with your boss too early in the day, since they often result in incoming telephone action that will raise the question of where you actually are in the physical (i.e. non-virtual) sense. NOTE: Even if you have received permission to “work from home” don’t remind your boss that you have done so. Reminding him or her of your status may impair your ability to do so again next week.
5. DO NOT start drinking any earlier than usual. Not even beer.
6. DO send out that lengthy e-mail with several Excel attachments that people have been waiting for since last Tuesday. This will serve two purposes: 1) demonstrate that you are active and on the field, in spite of all appearances; 2) stop anybody from replying to you on any issue while they chew over a spreadsheet they have no desire to deal with on a Friday during July or August.
7. DO NOT leave your Elvis Costello album playing in the background while you talk with colleagues, even if they are junior to you. Word will get around.
8. DO NOT answer the phone during your nap. Allow the ring to wake you. Splash some cold water on your face. Then return the call and apologize for having been “caught up” in something else while it was ringing. You may not fool anybody but it will be worth the attempt.
9. DO attempt to call your boss at 6 p.m., when you know he has gone for the day. You will appear on his call sheet first thing Monday morning as any industrious corporate citizen should.
10. DO NOT conduct any sort of business in your underwear. People will know. I don’t know how, but they will.

The Bing Blog Working from home? «

I never conduct business in my underwear, I swear. Really. I’ll add this blog to my blogroll, as Stanley Bing seems to be a kindred spirit.

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