I borrowed the list, but certainly added some of my own commentary. I also added a few, and made up one word completely. Guess the right one, and I will name the word after you.
TWAIN is a standard for communication between imaging devices (scanners) and computers, and often written in upper case. But the famous line, “….and never the twain shall meet” is from Kipling’s Ballad of East and West, and takes on many meanings. I prefer twain to TWAIN, unless of course, you had a model electric twain as a child.
9. Whoop of Gorillas
But the official name for a group of gorillas is a band of gorillas. Not guerillas. The scientific and literary world is starting to use whoop. Perhaps I can bring my hula whoop out of retirement and give it to the gorillas at the zoo. The term originates from the TV show, “Not the Nine O’Clock News.” The gorillas name was Gerald, so you can see why I prefer my name, Gerry.
You music nerds probably know this one. A flanger is a musical effect produced by mixing two identical signals together with one signal with a small delay. Ken Townsend, the engineer for the Beatles’ Abbey Road album, came up with this, officially called artificial double tracking or ADT. The alarm company named themselves after this effect. It sounded much better than flanger, which reminds one of a toilet plunger.
So, this is the reason we “boot” computers. Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, or Baron Munchausen, as he is widely known, exaggerated many stories of his past. This included pulling himself out of quicksand by pulling on his own hair (which is impossible except in cartoons). The story grew over the next century and finally made its way to America. The story became one of extricating himself out of quicksand by pulling on his bootstraps. The phrase never died and when computers came along, and in its early days, utilized a program that started from nothing and ended up as a running computer. This process was known as bootstrapping, then eventually booting. It has nothing to do with booty, as many of you probably thought.
Most of you have been to Hawaii and ridden the “wiki wiki shuttle” from your gate to the main terminal at Honolulu International Airport. It has been around forever. It means quick, quick or very fast. Many of you use Wikipedia, or wiki-leaks, or wiki Vickie. But Howard G. Cunningham, not Richie’s father, started using wiki wiki in 1994 for his now famous 1995 web site, Wikipedia.
Seiko developed a printer used for the Tokyo Olympics to print the times of results. It was called the electronic printer or EP. It soon became incorporated into early handheld calculators. About ten years alter, Seiko developed a dot matrix printer with the US distributor naming it Epson, since the printer was the “son” of EP, not ET. It became so well-known that Seiko renamed itself Epson Corporation some years later.
I could have some real fun with this one, but I won’t. Bluetooth is the short-range radio system that nobody uses to exchange data (voice, like on your cell phone). The tenth century king of Denmark, King Harald I, had blue teeth. And Ericsson, the Swedish company that developed bluetooth was familiar with the uniquely toothed King Harald. His major achievement was to unite Denmark and Norway under a single king, himself. In the same way, Bluetooth unites different devices under a single protocol.
The word robot was coined back in 1920 by Karel Capek. He wrote a play called Rossum’s Universal Robots, as the word robot comes from the Czech word “robot” which means “serf worker” or “drudgery”. But the term robotics was first used by sci fi writer Isaac Asimov in a 1942 short story, Runaround. He was quite enamored when the term took hold when people started building real robots. I won’t even tell you how “gobots” got their name, since the developer was the same company that makes Exlax.
William (Wild Willie) Gibson, whose grand-uncle developed the Gibson guitar, used the word in his 1982 short story, Burning Chrome. He also gets credit for predicting the rise of reality TV and the virtual worlds of video games. What a freaky guy!!!
Actually derived from the old word, hi-fi, consultants at Interbrand coined the word when asked to come up for a name for the new system. Yet, it does not really mean wireless fidelity. It is simply a sound alike contraction of the phrase, high fidelity.
But you can guess my favorite term:
Spam is the old standby, derived from the name SPiced hAM, a canned, pre-cooked meat made by Hormel back in 1937. The ingredients are not as bad as most people think, except for the high sodium content. Spam contains pork shoulder meat, ham meat, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, and sodium nitrite as a preservative. My personal opinion is that nothing could possible invade the Spam meat to make it spoil.
The typical can of Spam weighs 340 grams or 12 ounces. A 100 gram serving contains 70 mg of cholesterol, 13 grams of protein, 27 grams of total fat, and 3 grams of carbs. The residents of Hawaii and Guam consume the most Spam per capita in the uS. Sixteen tins of Spam is the per capita average. It is often characterized as “poor people food”. I personally enjoy a Spam musubi on the golf course when I am in the Islands. It is a teriyaki flavored fried Spam over a small, hand packed rectangle of rice, bound together with a sheet of seaweed. It always helps me play better after I eat it.
It is actually derived from the famous sketch of Monty Python’s, Flying Circus. It found its way onto YouTube. It is based on the cafe that serves most dishes containing Spam. In a fortuitous happenstance, the Spam sketch was broadcast before the days on online networking. It was sent out over dial-up phone connections at a 1200 baud rate (very slow by today’s standards). It became a joke to send the word “Spam” repeatedly so the receiver’s screen was covered with “Spam”. This became known as spamming.
But from the 1980s things changed and blurred a little. Spam became known as an acronym for “sales, promotion and marketing.” Then as the world-wide web grew, the terms merged into an amorphous blob of junk mail clogging up mail boxes.