Linguistic humor, Sniglets
- A clueless person. From the World Wide Web message "404, URL not
found" meaning that the document you've tried to access can't be
located. "Don't bother asking him...he's 404, man."
- accordionated (ah kor' de on ay tid) adj.
- Being able to drive and refold a road map at the same time.
- The rarified organizational layers beginning just above the rank and
file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly
inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.
- alpha geek
- The most knowledgable, technically proficient person in an office or
work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around here."
- aquadextrous (ak wa deks' trus) adj.
- Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub faucet on and off with your
- aqualibrium (ak wa lib' re um) n.
- The point where the stream of drinking fountain water is at its perfect
height, thus relieving the drinker from (a) having to suck the nozzle,
or (b) squirting himself in the eye (or ear).
- To put up an emotional shield just as a relationship enters that
intimate, vulnerable stage. Refers to the retractable armor covering
- The brief seizure people sometimes suffer when their beepers go off,
especially in vibrator mode. Characterized by physical spasms, goofy
facial expressions, and stopping speech in mid-sentence.
- A TV or radio fund-raiser for a charity, religious organization, or
PBS station that employs every known form of guilt, sweet talking,
and outright begging to get people to fork over the dough.
- To overtake in the market by inferior but better-marketed competition.
"Microsoft betamaxed Apple right out of the market."
- blow one's buffer
- To lose one's train of thought. Occurs when the person you are
speaking with won't let you get a word in edgewise or has just said
something so astonishing that your train gets derailed.
- To take note of a person for future reference. "I bookmarked him
after seeing his cool demo at Siggraph."
- burgacide (burg' uh side) n.
- When a hamburger can't take any more torture and hurls itself through the
grill into the coals.
- buzzacks (buz' aks) n.
- People in phone marts who walk around picking up display phones and
listening for dial tones even when they know the phones are not connected.
- career-limiting move (CLM)
- Used among microserfs to describe an ill-advised activity. Trashing
your boss while he or she is within earshot is a serious CLM.
- carperpetuation (kar' pur pet u a shun) n.
- The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string or a piece of lint
at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it,
then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.
- CGI Joe
- A hard-core CGI script programmer with all the social skills and
charisma of a plastic action figure.
- chip jewelry
- A euphemism for old computers destined to be scrapped or turned into
decorative ornaments. "I paid three grand for that Mac SE, and now
it's nothing but chip jewelry."
- A World Wide Web Site that hasn't been updated for a long time. See
also "link rot."
- A badly written or profoundly useless Java applet. "I just wasted 30
minutes downloading this stinkin' crapplet!"
- dimp (dimp) n.
- A person who insults you in a cheap department store by asking,
"Do you work here?"
- disconfect (dis kon fekt') v.
- To sterilize the piece of candy you dropped on the floor by blowing on
it, somehow assuming this will `remove' all the germs.
- dead tree edition
- The paper version of a publication available in both paper and
electronic forms. See also "treeware."
- To be exploited and oppressed by one's boss. Derived from the
experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character.
"I've been dilberted again. The old man revised the specs for the
fourth time this week."
- Dorito syndrome
- Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction triggered by addictive
substances that lack nutritional content. "I just spent six hours
surfing the Web, and now I've got a bad case of Dorito syndrome."
- ecnalubma (ek na lub' ma) n.
- A rescue vehicle which can only be seen in the rearview mirror.
- To scan the net, databases, print media, or research papers looking
for the mention of your name.
- eiffelites (eye' ful eyetz) n.
- Gangly people sitting in front of you at the movies who, no matter what
direction you lean in, follow suit.
- elbonics (el bon' iks) n.
- The actions of two people maneuvering for one armrest in a movie
theater (or on an airplane!).
- elecelleration (el a cel er ay' shun) n.
- The mistaken notion that the more you press an elevator button, the
faster it will arrive.
- Elvis year
- The peak year of something's popularity. "Barney the dinosaur's Elvis
year was 1993."
- frust (frust) n.
- The small line of debris that refuses to be swept onto the dust pan and
keeps backing a person across the room until he finally decides to give up
and sweep it under the rug.
- Fast food joints, strip malls, subdivisions. "We were so lost
in generica that I couldn't remember what city it was."
- To sleep with one's eyes open. A popular pastime at conferences and
early morning meetings. "Didn't he notice that half the room was
glazing by the second session?"
- graybar land
- The place you go while you're staring at a computer that's processing
something very slowly (while you watch the gray bar creep across the
screen). "I was in graybar land for what seemed like hours, thanks to
that CAD rendering."
- gray matter
- Older, experienced business people hired by young entrepreneurial
firms looking to appear more reputable and established.
- Annoying, but one can't stop watching.
- it's a feature
- From the adage "It's not a bug, it's a feature." Used sarcastically
to describe an unpleasant experience that one wishes to gloss over.
- juice a brick
- To recharge the big, heavy NiCad batteries used in portable video
cameras. "You better start juicing those bricks, we've got a long
- keyboard plaque
- The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards.
"Are there any other terminals I can use? This one has a bad case of
- lactomangulation (lak' to man gyu lay' shun) n.
- Manhandling the "open here" spout on a milk container so badly that one
has to resort to the `illegal' side.
- link rot
- The process by which links on a web page become obsolete as the
sites they're connected to change location or die.
- The physical world (as opposed to the virtual). Also referred
to as "carbon community," "facetime," "F2F," "RL."
- neonphancy (ne on' fan see) n.
- A fluorescent light bulb struggling to come to life.
- Nickname for AOL's less-than-full-featured Web browser.
- object value
- In industrial design, a measure of consumers' immediate desire for an
object, even before they know or understand what it does. "Gassee may
be nuts, but at least the BeBox has great object value."
- open-collar workers
- People who work at home or telecommute.
- peppier (pehp ee ay') n.
- The waiter at a fancy restaurant whose sole purpose seems to be walking
around asking diners if they want ground pepper.
- percussive maintenance
- The fine art of whacking a device to get it working.
- petrophobic (pet ro fob' ik) adj.
- One who is embarrassed to undress in front of a household pet.
- phonesia (fo nee' zhuh) n.
- The affliction of dialing a phone number and forgetting whom you were
calling just as they answer.
- A new hire who doesn't need any training. "The new guy, John, is
great. He's totally plug-and-play."
- prairie dog, v.
- To pop up from one's cubicle to observe.
- pupkus (pup' kus) n.
- The moist residue left on a window after a dog presses its nose to it.
- salmon day
- A day spent swimming upstream only to get screwed in the end.
- When a store's electronic scanner (usually inadvertently) prices an
item higher than the price on the store's shelf or in an advertisement.
- The coming convergence of movies, interactive TV and computers.
See also "hollywired."
- telecrastination (tel e kras tin ay' shun) n.
- The act of always letting the phone ring at least twice before you pick
it up, even when you're only six inches away.
- Manuals and documentation. See also "dead tree edition."
- Sexual relationship. "This is Dale, my...um...friend."
- yuppie food coupons
- Twenty dollar bills from an ATM.