Monday, September 9, 2013

Technical words

1965: "I wrote a program for this computer."

1975: "I wrote some code for this machine."

1985: "I wrote some software for this hardware."

1995: "I wrote a script for this system."

2005: "I wrote a solution for this platform." (Yeccchh! Let's hope the day of software "solutions" has passed.)

2010: "I wrote an app for the cloud."

This reminds me of medical terminology. I tease my wife the doctor that when too many people start to talk about an illness, doctors invent a new name for it to restore some mystery. First it was scrofula, then consumption, then white plague, and finally tuberculosis, but doctors couldn't cure any of them. Doctors call a bruise a contusion, and if your finger was ripped off by a machine, it was "avulsed." They even have a cute, sort of Frenchified way of pronouncing centimeter --- it sounds something like "sawntimeter."

The French have influenced aeronautics, too. Thanks to them, we have the fuselage and even aviation itself. We like to pronounce envelope in the French way: "onvelope," meaning the limiting values of some parameter.

No comments:

Post a Comment