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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Avoid inappropriate terminology when writing about the web

I have previously complained about using 1940s-era terminology (e.g., tennis shoes or gym shoes for sneakers, radio car for police car, dungarees for jeans).

It's now 2:33 in the morning and I just heard two dumbass radio commercials that so enraged me that I got out of bed to blog.

One commercial urged listeners to "log onto" a website. Logging on (or in) means to identify yourself to a website or computer or a piece of software, generally by typing a user name and a password.

That is NOT the same thing as merely visiting a website. Most websites, including mine, do NOT require logging.

The other web phrase I particularly hate is "point your browser at . . . ." Browsers don't get pointed. To visit a website, you either point and click your mouse, or type.

"Aim your browser at . . ." is a stupid variation. DO NOT type or say it. Browsers don't get aimed.

"Surf on over to . . ." is not as bad as the other phrases, but it is silly, childish, archaic and unnecessary.

"Cut and paste" is probably misused more often than it is properly used. If you cut and paste something (usually a picture or some text), you REMOVE it from its current location, and put it somewhere else. If you will merely copy (i.e., not remove) the item, you will "copy and paste." The illustration at the top of today's blog was copied from Wikipedia, and pasted into my computer so it could appear on my blog. The illustration is still on Wikipedia. Therefore, I copied but did not cut.

I'll probably think of some more later, but I'm going back to bed. My wife and dog miss me.


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