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Redundant terms

(20 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by BobJam
  • Latest reply from sourpuss
  • Topic Viewed 1256 times

BobJam
BobJam
Posts: 1052

This from the Department of Redundancy Department.

Many computer terms seem redundant, and given to ostentatious and useless jargon.

For example:

1. "Definition Database" - In many cases, the single word "Definitions" would be sufficient. Granted, the use of "Database" can indicate the entire list of definitions, but still in many cases, as I just said, "Definitions" would suffice.

2. "Desktop Environment" - Again, in many cases "Desktop" would suffice.

3. "Character set" - much like "definition database", there are times when the word "set" can be meaningful. But in a lot of cases, "Characters" alone would be sufficient.

The reason I mention this is because a lot of times geeks seem to use this jargon for noobs, and only succeed in confusing them further with intimidating lingo. Geek to geek is OK, but when it comes to geek to noob, I think dispensing with lingo when possible is the way to go.

May be stating the obvious here, but I think sometimes geeks (and I myself am only a "student geek" anyway) forget and slide comfortably into the lingo.

Other examples . . . and thoughts??

BJ

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

BobJam, Agree, you got a point. "Desktop Environment" being the most obvious (I am not so sure about the other two). The reverse side of the coin is, that the noobs are going to encounter those expressions all over the net. So they might as well get used to them early on. Else they will later wonder about the difference of e.g. "Characters" and "Character set".

Posted 5 years ago
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mpc104
mpc104
Posts: 286

since were talking about terms i dont think i like the term "noob" i like newbe better lol.

Posted 5 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Hi mpc :). I dislike both the terms "noob" and "newbie", but cannot think of a better one.

As regards terms. It's the new ones that I have problems with.
OK. I can now say folders, but it will always be "Root Directory" to me, never "Root Folder".
Also. All sites mix up names. i.e. A Vista repair disk, may be called, a repair disk, a recovery disk, or a restore disk, depending on the site. No wonder people are confused.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

mpc, nice to see you back. Where have you been hiding all this time?

Posted 5 years ago
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jd2066
jd2066
Posts: 3814

"Definition Database" - I haven't seen this used. I see it just called definitions.
"Desktop Environment" - Just "Desktop" refers to the area with wallpaper and icons. A "Desktop Environment" on the other hand covers the desktop, taskbar, file explorer and many other things as a whole.

Posted 5 years ago
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sourpuss
Posts: 65

I want to stick my nose in here to make a quick point :) I am in no way, shape or form, a geek...would love to be, but unfortunately I don't think I have the brains for it (not that I'm stupid, heck no!).

Anyway, I get that new people should learn the jargon so as to understand more easily things that are said, especially when asking for a solution to a problem in which they might get an answer that makes them scratch their head in confusion, then, embarrassed, have to say, "I don't understand a thing you just said."

But, am I right in assuming that you can pretty much tell when you're speaking to someone who is not exactly tech-savvy by the questions they ask, and their wording? If so, it might be helpful when answering a question, to put, in parentheses or something, a layman's term or description so that person can begin to make an association that will be helpful in the future. Also, other 'newbies' who aren't even asking the question, but are reading, can learn from that.

Wow, I'm a comma addict, sorry :D

Posted 5 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Sourpuss :) Nice post :). Experienced helpers on sites, can generally tell if the poster is experienced( but not always), or a novice. So, (on this site, for sure) we try to advise to that level.

Posted 5 years ago
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sourpuss
Posts: 65

I have noticed that I have very few 'huh?' moments here, so that's nice :) Also, from what I've seen thus far, there aren't huge egos that enjoy making others feel stupid.

On another forum recently, a person who was obviously new asked for help and the response they got was something along the lines of, "If you don't know that, you don't belong here", which I thought was incredibly rude. I haven't seen that here, and for the most part, those that try to help have a persistence that most doctors trying to save a life probably don't have LOL! ;)

So, keep up the good work! I've learned tons since I subscribed to this feed.

Posted 5 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Sourpuss. You hang around here a few months, you will see persistence :)

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Is it time for an HTG glossary? I thought we already had something like that in the wiki. It would certainly be the right place to put it.

I'm sure I'm guilty of using jargon without defining it, but I can't think of an example. If I read over my own posts, any tech buzzwords that I used would be completely natural to me and not set off any alarms. Someone else will have to point out my assumptions to me, because I can't see them as such.

One thing I do is try to always write-out an abbreviation once before using it. We geeks are so fond of our Three-Letter Acronyms (TLA) that the very phrase to described them has it's own TLA. That's not redundant, it's self-referential. Something that I usually assume is that the reader can look up any terms they don't know in Wikipedia or google it. Maybe that's a bad assumption, but I don't always know the expertise level of my audience.

Posted 5 years ago
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sourpuss
Posts: 65

Lighthouse, I plan on doing just that :)

ScottW, I wasn't accusing anyone :) Personally, Google is my best friend..along with Hyperwords for Firefox.

I guess it can be kind of a catch 22...some people would get offended if you 'dumb' things down, and some can't understand a thing without step-by-step instructions, along with screenshots. I suppose newbies have to get over the embarrassment of asking about something that they know is probably second nature to someone else. Hey, everyone was 'new' once, right?

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

The point on pictures is very good. Whenever I have the feeling that someone is still early in the learning stages, I like to use pictures. Sometimes they are also handy to avoid a lot of verbage in which one can get easily lost. Additionally I think, newcomers to the computer arts should be encouraged to tell us whether they need simple steps - some people do that and it helps. I think the people on this Forum must do a good job because there are many new members every day - especially ladies. And they would not be here if they felt uncomfortable.

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

@sourpuss, no accusation taken. I was just explaining that I am unlikely to see my own assumptions and if someone points them out to me, that would be helpful. You make an excellent point: we were all new to this. That's how I approach any new member with a question. There was a time when I didn't know the answer.

@whs, what's this about the ladies? Are they too delicate to hang out in a rougher, ruder forum? I think Sarah James might disagree!

Posted 5 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Now there is a point. When I learnt computing, there was no Internet. It had to be books & trial and error. Is interactive learning good for a newcomer? There is lot's of mal-advice out there, as I think a lot of us have seen.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

ScottW, well, I peak into other Fora from time to time and although I have not made a scientific statistic I noticed a lot smaller female population. And you are right, some of those sites are rougher. I think it speaks for HTG that the tender sex is well represented on the site.

Posted 5 years ago
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mpc104
mpc104
Posts: 286

hey whs,i have been here all along,its just my pc is running great.and if i do have a question i just go to an old post to find the answer.thanks for asking.on the term issue geek and non-geek is a good one.good to talk to you guys again.

Posted 5 years ago
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sourpuss
Posts: 65

Ladies? Hmm, I resemble that remark ;) I don't like to hang out in rough or rude forums, not because of any delicate sensibilities, but mainly because my justice-Libra tendencies(lol) don't often allow me to pass on by something that rubs me the wrong way. I find myself drawn into ridiculous arguments, where at first, I feel that I'm coming off as an intelligent, rational human being (always assuming that I'm dealing with people who are also intelligent and rational, only to find out I was wrong), but that usually ends up degenerating into a rank name-calling, biting sarcasm-fest that has, unfortunately, accomplished zilch. And I don't feel any better than when I started. So, I generally try to avoid those pointless endeavors when I can, because it's most certainly not going to help extend my life by getting all upset at people I don't even know.

Lighthouse, I'm all for trial and error, but ever since I had a final and fatal issue with my third laptop in under a year (issue = quite literally launched it at the front door and asked my kids to take it out with the trash...well, okay, after I stomped on it a couple of times), I'm down to only one computer and I'm not brave enough to try anything that is not tried and true, because, hey, how would I look for help if I have no working computer?

whs...tender? Who you callin' tender? ;)

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

@sourpuss, I have a Lisa too - since 20 years; and she is tender. I like to think that this is the norm.

Posted 5 years ago
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sourpuss
Posts: 65

It's an unfortunate reality, I think, that in these tough times, women don't often have the luxury of being tender :(

Ah, to go back in time LOL

Posted 5 years ago
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