Friday, July 31, 2009

Glossary

Glossary

In the interest of keeping posts short, and knocking a few questions out of the way, this entry will serve as this blog’s glossary. These words are listed in alphabetical order, and not all are meant for old people. In fact, some are meant for people of all ages, while at least one is for dumb young people. When a better, more concise definition was found elsewhere, it has been provided. To skip to a specific letter, click on the corresponding character below. The glossary will be updated as needed. Have a suggestion? E-mail it to macaroonshindig [at] gmail [dot] com or leave a comment!

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

#

4chan – An imageboard (messageboard with images) created with the intention of discussing anime and manga. Users may post anonymously, as it lacks a registration system, which has led to debauchery. 4chan is also responsible for bringing us Rickrolling, LOLcats, and Project Chanology, an anonymous protest against Scientology. (Baltimore City Paper has a great article about the protest and group here.)

A

AnonymousFor the web group, see 4chan.

Avatar – From Wikipedia, "The graphical representation of a user." May also be called a user icon. The square graphic to the right under the About Me column is an example of an avatar. It is usually best for a user to use the same avatar for each account used.

B

/b/See 4chan.

Billabong – A stagnant body of water. See more here.

BitTorrent – As defined by Wikipedia, "is a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol used for distributing large amounts of data." BitTorrent allows a user to download an entire series of a TV show or an artist's catalogue with one click. Sometimes Torrent is used as a verb as a way of shortening the action.

C

Cheddar/Cheese –Slang for cash (cheddar), or a combination of cold medicine and heroin (cheese).

Celebutante – A celebrity debutante. (The world is a portmanteau.) Examples would include Paris Hilton, Kim Karadashian, Edie Sedgwick, Nicole Richie, and Brody Jenner. In theory, a celebutante is "famous for being famous" and typically comes from a wealthy family and putters his or her way through life. Typically a celebutante is also a socialite.


D

Desktop – 1) The background a user sees on his or her monitor (the icons, documents, wallpaper). Files can be saved to the Desktop, but the files go to a folder on the harddrive with a desktop shortcut (so it's more practical to create a shortcut to the desktop and save elsewhere). 2) A personal computer meant to sit on one's desk (wiki).

dooce – A very popular and successful personal blog written by Heather Armstrong. dooce is considered the standard or example of successful blogging, as Armstrong and her husband has made the blog her full-time through advertising revenue. dooce can also be used as a verb when a person is fired for the writing on one's personal blog. Example: "I was dooced because I wrote inappropriate missives about my co-workers."

Dropsy – Slang for dumping your contraband before running from the cops.

E

E-famous – A person who has found fame and/or ignominy though his or her existence and exploits online. Generally he or she is either unable or does not translate that fame offline. Chris Crocker, who made the infamous "Leave Britney Alone!" video is an example of an internet celebrity, even though Crocker's fame brought brief stardom in mainstream media.

Examiner.com – A pay-per-click blogging network. It is not related to The Examiner, a print-based daily newspaper in a variety of cities, and its lack of distinction is what led me into applying for a position. (Which I still hold. My blog is over here.) Examiners write on a variety of topics, some broad (ex: Transportation, Concerts, politics), and some very specific. Examiner.com is owned by Clarity Digital Media, whose CEO and founder is former MapQuest general manager David Schafer.

Extension (filename) – The suffix of a filename: .doc (Word Document), (.html -- usually a web page, see below), .jpg and .gif (image files), .mp3 (music, see below) , pdf, .ppd, etc.

F

Facebook – A wildly popular social networking web site. Sometimes considered the successor to MySpace. Can be used as a verb (to Facebook, Facebooked, etc.) for actions or posting using or related to the site. (An in-depth article is planned for the future.)

First! – The asinine proclamation by the first commenter of a blog post to declare that he or she is the first commenter. These comments almost always fail to provide additional commentary. This is popular, but DEAR GOD, I have no idea why.

G

(There are no G words at this time. If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment or e-mail me.)

H

Hardware – The physical, tangeible components of technology. Includes the CPU, monitor, CD and CD-Rom drive, other drives (DVD, floppy disk, USB flash, Zip), mouse, keyboard, gaming components (joystick), etc.

Hoe, ho – A hoe is a tool for gardening. A ho is a demeaning and gender specific term, commonly misspelled, that should never be used. Glad we could clear this up. (This is a lesson for young people.)

HTML –Hypertext Markup Language, a system of annotating text for web pages. Also an extension for web pages.

I

IP – Internet Protocol address. Think of it as your computer's street address. Each computer connected to the Internet has a unique numerical address. Addresses are four sets of two numbers (xx.xx.xx.xx.) 0–25. Many blogs and websites track IP addresses to monitor where visitors are coming from, and many comments are logged by IP addresses. A blog or website can turn IP logging off, and allow commenters to be completely anonymous, but I like to laud IP logging over a nasty commenter's head, if you want to know the truth. How much information is available through an IP address varies

J

Jerbang – An insult typically thrown toward an unsavory mall creeper. See more here.


K

(There are no K words at this time. If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment or e-mail me.)

L

(There are no L words at this time. If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment or e-mail me.)

M

Metadata, metatags See tags.

MP3
– From The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2009, "A popular audio compression format on the Internet." MP3 is the abbreviation for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, and is file extension (.mp3) for most digital audio files. MP3s can play on most digital audio players, including iPods, can be burned to CDs, and played on computers and CD players. M4A and .mp4 are also common extensions. AP style calls for all capital letters, but I often forget and leave it lowercase, so my apologies in advance.

MySpace – A very popular social networking web site. (An in-depth article is planned for the future.)


N

Natch – Slang for "naturally." See examples and more here.

No Homo – A phrase used in the hip hop community to say, "I'm not gay! No gayness here! No gay, no way!"

Nom – An act of showing affection toward delicious food.

NSFW – "Not safe for work" Used as a warning when sharing content with nudity, violence, profanity, or anything that may cause awkwardness in the workplace.

O

(There are no O words at this time. If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment or e-mail me.)


P

-porn "porn" is often used as a suffix to a word or genre to emphasize the product's over-the-topness. "Torture porn" is often used to describe slasher films (Last House on the Left, for example), and "disaster porn" would refer to excessive news coverage or the film 2012. The suffix may also be used for pleasant topics as well. In general, its usage seems derogatory, even when used as something unrelated to its original meaning.

PC – (technology) Stands for personal computer. Often refers to any non-Apple computer product running a Windows operating system, but can sometimes mean anything that is not Apple, including Linux. This catch-all is now at the faul of Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign, where actor Justing Long impersonates the Apple image as a slim, nerdy, and cool know-it-all versus John Hodgman, a slightly dowdy, suit-wearing, clunky and out-of-date man. (Which is wildly unfair, since Hodgman seems like a really cool person.)

Q

(There are no Q words at this time. If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment or e-mail me.)

R

RSS – From The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2009: "An abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication. A protocol for subscribing to and distributing feeds that notify people of new entries on news sites, blogs, podcasts or other online information sources. Also RSS feed. (See more here.)


S

Smashed a Homie – To have relations with a friend of your current partner.

Social Networking – As defined by Wiktionary: “A virtual community in which people with a shared interest may communicate.” Examples include Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, and Twitter. Social networking has proven instrumental for communicating in both personal lives and the workplace in addition to breaking and reporting news. The August issue of Simple Living defined Social Notworking as losing focus in the workplace by participating in social networking on office time. (An in-depth article is planned for the future.)

Software – The computer stuff you can't touch: Operating systems, programs, etc.

Sweat – To worry ("don't sweat it") or admire ("I sweat you").

T

Tags – A keyword or label assigned to a file (an image, document, blog entry, etc.) that describes the item and allows for an organizational system so that the item(s) can be easily found and identified. Properly known as a metatag and metadata. This blog uses tags ("labels") for each of its entries.

Torrent (See BitTorrent.)

Twitter – A social networking platform where users share information in 140 characters or less.
From The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2009: "A community-based message-distribution system that allows users to post continual status updates of up to 140 characters detailing their activities for followers. The verb is to Twitter or to Tweet. A Twitter message is known as a Tweet." (All articles on this blog about Twitter can be found here.)


U

Urban Dictionary – Web site where users submit and define slang. Definitions can be ranked by users and visitors. The downside is that many (many) will submit themselves as definition, definitions are often inflated, or wrong, and definitions are often more vulgar than necessary and often unnecessarily demeaning. (And therefore is not advised for my parents.)

URL – A web address, such as, www.google.com or http://lessonsforoldpeople.blogspot.com. Stands for Uniform Resource Locator.

USB – Stands for Universal Serial Bus. Created in 1996 and credited to Compaq, Digital Equipment Corporation, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Northern Telecom, USB was invented to replace serial and parallel ports--that is, to create one standard for plugging your mouse, keyboard, scanner, digital camera, printer, MP3 player, external hard drive, flash drive (see above), and other technological devices to your computer.

V

Viral Video – A video (often but not always from YouTube) that rises suddenly in popularity, often through the help of the Internet. The Wikipedia entry includes a thorough definition and examples.


W

W3C – The World Wide Web Consortium, the international standards organization for the World Wide Web, founded by Tim Berners-Lee (who is the president of the Internet). We can credit W3C for creating and protecting the Internet as a free entity for everyone.

W00t, WootExclamation of joy.

World of Warcraft (WoW) – A multiplayer, fantasy, online role-playing game. It is wildly popular videogame developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. Its users are stereotyped as nerdy young men who devote all of their time to the game, forgoing necessities. (This is debatable, though women also play the game, and some people manage to exercise self-control.) WoW charges a subscription for its users.

X


Y


Z


Related Articles:


Vocabulary Lesson: Internet Vocabulary
Vocabulary Lesson: Web Jargon and Internet Slang (Abbreviations)
Vocabulary Lesson: Tweet vs. Microblog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

About this blog and your humble author

INTRODUCTION AND EXPLANATION

Hello, my name is Katherine!

Welcome to Lessons for Old People, a blog wherein I pompously and patiently explain the quirks of technology and culture to people like my parents, who are bright but just don't understand. I'll try to keep my posts short in length and informative. I promise to make an ass out of myself in the process.

The purpose of this blog is to explain various sundry inquiries regarding technology and pop culture to my parents, but Very Mature Young People, the confused, and the incredibly bored are welcome too. (If you are anyone but my parents, please check the comment policy before jumping in.) I'm doing this so my mom has a place to go before she calls me at work to remind her how to buy music on iTunes, or explain just what a celebutante is, or why the morning news is talking about "cankles," whatever those are. (I know what they are, but darn if I can explain why.)

This blog will be updated as frequently as necessary, as often as possible, until my parents are filled with the knowledge they need to survive these stormy waters in this new strange millennia. They're not actually old—I just thought it was a good tongue-in-cheek title—so it might not be very long. My apologies to those marooned in advance.

ABOUT ME

Spam Truck

I have a degree in journalism ("bachelor's of science in mass communication with a concentration in journalism and new media") and photography ("bachelor's of science in art with a concentration in interdisciplinary photography"). I'm CISCO certified in web development, management, and design, and spend the bulk of my spare time explaining the nonsense of others to friendly acquaintances. I am wholly unqualified to teach you anything, but am relying on my vast impatience and existence as one who teeters on the edge of know-it-allism, and am compelled to guide you through these tough pop culture seas in this millennium in which we live. This picture of me is two years old, but I have the same haircut, am only a little thinner (maybe), and am just as fanciful, so I'm sure you understand.

I consider myself knowledgeable or an expert on the following: Alternative process photography and its sub-category anthotype, Baltimore, cephalopods, Chicago, the Clash, hip-hop and the history of hip-hop, mermaids, Pompeii, punk and the history of punk, the RMS Lusitania, the serial comma, sharks, shipwrecks, the socioeconomic impact of pop music, RMS Titanic, transportation and public transportation, and zines. I like to read, and as a result am learning far too much regarding apiculture and Copenhagen.

My pet peeves are people who say they "only read for information" but are quick to remind me that because of my age (young) and gender (female) I can't possibly understand books (Watchmen) on the first read; the soul scratching vocals of the Silverspun Pickups and the Kings of Leon; and Domino's pizza.

My hobbies include blogging, freelance writing, writing my zine Macaroon Shindig, and photography.

I love Shark Week, zines, boiled eggs, reading and researching, riding my bike on country roads, movie trailers, pleasant weather, and inappropriate television programs like 1,000 Ways to Die and Daisy of Love.