Thus conclusively proving...
There should be a test to get on the internet.
Honestly officer, I know my license is in one of these pockets.
The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association's eponymous 1990 PCMCIA card standard used to jokingly be decoded as People Can't Memorise Computer Industry Acronyms. Nearly a quarter of a century later that jape has been proven anew, after an online coupons outfit called Vouchercloud let The Los Angeles Times …
> HTML is a sexually-transmitted disease
Have you ever had the misfortune of having to maintain an unholy amalgamation of old-world Frontpage and Dreamweaver cruft that has been organically "grown" (like a tumour) through the inexperienced ministrations of 7 years of college interns? I would say this assessment is spot-on.
> Gigabyte being identified as “an insect commonly found in South America” by 27 per cent of respondents
I guess that makes a gibibyte the larval form...
Heh, I always lie on surveys, be they people stopping me in the street or cold calling annoyances. It gives me a smug sense of satisfaction knowing that in a small way, i have ruined their dataset and thus rendered all their hard work moot. This makes me happy.
When visiting a website I'm not familiar with I always make sure my Cat6 network cable is properly sheathed.
It's also ten metres long and I keep it strapped down so people won't trip over it. I can show you pictures, if you don't believe me.
To be fair, acronyms are largely ignored gobbledegook by the masses and if you aren't in the particular industry they are used it really doesn't matter. Lots of folks drive cars but how many know what RON or MON mean. How many know what the API, ACEA, JASO or ILSAC stands for on the oil label. You might find some who know what BOP means after the BP spill in the gulf but probably not many. Going on to plastics like PTFE or UHMW you might get a few to recognize that one of them is Teflon but I'd wager not many.
As for TWAIN, it sounds like half to Shakespeare.
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1. Answering a survey...
2. On a discount coupon site...
3. In the US of A...
High praise indeed. They should put those skills on their next CV/résumé...
Why am I suddenly thinking about a trailer park and Judge Judy? No, wait, it's much worse, can you hear it?
Je-rry! Je-rry! Je-rry!
< EEK! >
Acronyms/Initialisms... Hmmm... I bet they are 100‰ au fait with whatever the US equivalents of JSA + ASBO are...
I know it's not strictly polite to pre-filter survey results, but what would they look like if you threw out every set that had a wrong answer for "software?" Any of the 11% who thought it was comfy clothing have a long way to go before it makes any difference whether they know what USB and motherboard mean.
Alternatively, that 11% might also be the people who know a silly survey when they see one, and were really just going for the most entertaining answer each time. I wouldn't blame them, but their results should still be dropped.
" that 11% might also be the people who know a silly survey when they see one, and were really just going for the most entertaining answer each time."
Around here, That description describes the demographic called 'literate'.
(Probably explains why there hasn't been a survey conducted around here since the nineties.)
I think the take-away the author is missing is:
Personally, I steal my moments of respite through beer and commenting on El Reg*.
* - Sometimes simultaneously, for which I would beg forgiveness, were my shame not already over-taxed reminding me of all the other things I've done whilst drunk.
Re: controlling for people 'taking the piss' . . .
I've thought about that before and I think the answer is that you have to design the questions 'better'. The same would go for people guessing or randomly clicking because they've started the survey but gotten bored half-way through.
Actually, it kind of goes for all surveys - the conclusions are only as good as the questions you ask. Every survey should have don't know/doesn't apply option to avoid legitimate takers having to guess but so many don't.
I think a 'not sure' option here would have at least helped to reduce the amusing results.
I was thinking that I'd more than likely pick some of those responses myself despite knowing what all the correct answers are just because they're funny. Though you are wrong about one thing: I don't think the amusement hit would be 10 seconds. More like 3. Maybe. If I'm REALLY bored.
Just bringing up the subject I have immediately pigeon holed you as one of those people in the office that is always bragging about their latest sexual encounter, when in reality women find you repulsive due to your overbearing nature and fact that you love your self too much, but as you are in middle management they have to be polite so wont just tell you to fuck off, which you, in your sexually predatory way take as a come on, only to be shot down yet again and go home to watch subscribed to porn whilst rubbing one off and crying about your lonely existence.
I constantly see and hear ISPs getting their units wrong too!
"Get our new 70 megabyte broadband"
Speeds: 21MB, 50MB, 70MB and now 200MB.
I can't imagine a car manufacturer saying their car has a top speed of "140 acres". It's about as fundamental a mistake.
How are they not acronyms?
HTML = Hyper Text Markup Language
USB = Universal Serial Bus
PCMCIA = Personal Computer Memory Card International Association
and of course TWAIN - which may or may not mean "Technology without an interesting name"
Define acronym: an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g. ASCII, NASA ).
They look very much and fit the definition of an acronym to me!
> How are they not acronyms?
Because you can't pronounce them as words. An acronym is a new word formed from the letters of an abbreviation, like BASIC, RAID and NASA.
HTML and USB are abbreviations - you have to say the letters H-T-M-L or U-S-B. They can't be said as words.
Technically correct but for how long? Enough people think any initialism is an acronym that the definition of the word will sooner or later have to catch up.
I do enjoy pointing out to people at work that "TLA" isn't an acronym. Then I like to explain the difference between being pedantic and being accurate :D I'm such an arse
I don't believe anyone confuses HTML with Subscriber Trunk Dialling.
If you are worried about catching HTML or even PHP do what I do and always wear a condom when using a computer. So far I'm not infected, but I have a rather annoying itch on the old undercarriage.
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