back to article Crypto for cryptographers! Infosec types revolt against use of ancient abbreviation by Bitcoin and NFT devotees

Infosec must "reclaim" the word crypto from people who trade in Bitcoins and other digital currencies, according to industry veteran Bruce Schneier – and it seems some Reg readers agree while others disagree. "I have long been annoyed that the word 'crypto' has been co-opted by the blockchain people, and no longer refers to ' …

  1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    But it is crypto

    From Wikipedia:

    "Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain."

    Reminding the public of this serves to keep them aware of the importance of cryptography in many things other than "things that evil people do and seek to hide from law enforcement" whenever a new initiative is proposed to backdoor your crypto.

    1. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: But it is crypto

      Yeah. I always assumed that crypto-currency was short for "cryptographic currency" and cryptography is a fundamental aspect of it. Not really sure what the fuss is about.

      Perhaps this stems largely from other uses of the "crypto-" prefix used in entirely other fields, but its use in this instance seems pretty reasonable in my view.

      I wasn't really able to satisfactorily vote in the poll since my view is that "crypto-" in crypto-currency does stand for cryptography so my answer would be "Yes", but also "No". I think that the poll question is poorly framed.

      1. SW10

        Re: But it is crypto

        my answer would be "Yes", but also "No"

        Another small-but-significant reveal as we hurtle towards a Unified Theory of Everything: “Crypto” was actually the name of Schrödinger’s cat

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: But it is crypto

          I seem to remember reading somewhere that Schrödinger’s actual cat while he was at Oxford was named Milton ... The cat in the thought experiment had no name, as it was unimportant to the outcome.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge

            Re: But it is crypto

            I think you'll find that it had[1] no name but was[2] at the same time called Crypto.

            [1] Or has.

            [2] Or is.

          2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

            Re: But it is crypto

            The cat may have been unimportant to the outcome...

            ...but the outcome was of life or death importance to the cat!

            // cat treats in the pocket

        2. EnviableOne

          Re: But it is crypto

          There's Tea everywhere

      2. Blazde Silver badge

        Re: But it is crypto

        'I always assumed that crypto-currency was short for "cryptographic currency"'

        It is, I think that's the issue. When some says 'crypto' but assumes one specific narrow use of cryptography they're almost gaslighting the existence of the entire rest of the important field of cryptography. It's a hierarchy error. Like when someone says 'Can you bring up the internet' but they really mean 'Open the Google homepage'.

        Unlike with other uses of the crypto prefix unrelated to cryptography you often can't tell what they mean from context, because a lot of cryptocurrency context *is* cryptography context.

        "I'm going to invest in crypto" -> Fine, mostly

        "Crypto has changed the world" -> Completely ambiguous

        "I'm very interested in crypto, would you like to talk about it over coffee?" -> Recipe for rage, and a paraphrase of an actual question I was presented with just last week that turned me on to how much of a problem this has become. For context: I'm very interested in cryptography but absolutely sick of hearing about not-technical aspects of crypto-currency, so I don't know.. do I want to talk about crypto over coffee?

        1. rskurat

          Re: But it is crypto

          "specific narrow use of cryptography they're almost gaslighting the existence of the entire rest of the important field of cryptography"

          not gaslighting; unaware of is more like it. Blockheads love blockchain

        2. Cynical Pie

          Re: But it is crypto

          Surely it depends if they are paying for the coffee and if they will let you get an industrial strength one with nothing more than hotwater and ground beans in it or a poncy one with syrups, creams, frozen bits and dust sprinkled on top

      3. katrinab Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: But it is crypto

        When I paid for my lunch a few minutes ago using Apple Pay, I'm pretty sure cryptography was involved in the payment. But I didn't pay with cryptocurrency, I paid with British Pounds.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But it is crypto

          Https, for an even more basic example.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @cornetman - Re: But it is crypto

        So in your opinion we can safely speak about hidden currency. You know, like in Cryptorchidism.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Paul Hovnanian - Re: But it is crypto

      Your regular on line banking transactions as well as your dealings with your government, hell even checking your email is verified through cryptography. I haven't heard someone talking about crypto mailing or crypto banking.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: @Paul Hovnanian - But it is crypto

        The difference in this case is that cryptocurrencies use cryptography as the only verification step and have no central control. Your communication with your bank uses cryptography to throw off a listener, but it doesn't use a cryptographic key to establish your identity and it doesn't use a cryptographic system to ensure your money is only controlled by you (for example, if you pay your bank fees, they'll remove them without you having to authorize it).

        The same distinction applies to email. Normal email uses cryptography only between you and the servers involved. Cryptographic email, not usually called cryptomail but you can if you want, uses something like PGP to secure and authenticate the messages themselves, and it really is a different thing.

        That doesn't mean that you have to call cryptocurrency that, or if you do that you have to accept the "crypto" abbreviation as applying to it, but there is a reason the word was used that is valid.

    3. PiltdownMan

      Re: But it is crypto

      Never use Wikipedia as a reference. It is an unproven third party reference. Anyone can edit Wikipedia with erroneous data.

      Always go back to the Original source references, hopefully written by academics who know what they are talking about.

  2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Hidden or secret

    Crypto means hidden' or 'secret':

    However, it has become used to mean something akin to 'pseudo', as in the form of 'crypto-currency', where a 'real' currency can be embodied in paper notes or metal coins.

    The 'crypto' part of electronic currencies like bitcoin comes in the security features of the blockchain, which is a form of digital cryptography.

    So I'm not sure why Mr Schneier is objecting so strongly to the language evolving. Maybe he's just getting old, like me :o(

    1. Dante Alighieri

      Cryptographic(ly) secured pseudo-currency

      not sure I should use secured...



      recorded authority? - but then its just CRAP-currency

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Hidden or secret

      "So I'm not sure why Mr Schneier is objecting so strongly to"

      Inappropriate and downright lazy overloading of terminology.

      "Maybe he's just getting old, like me :o("

      Well, yes. We all are. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about. Beer?

      1. Chris G

        Re: Hidden or secret

        As a time served and fully qualified curmudgeon, I have better things to complain about than the purloinment and evolution of a word.

        A good portion of the English language is no longer used as was in my school days and moaning about it does no good, believe me I have tried.

        Explaining what a word or phrase really ought to mean to da yoof is pointless because they don't speak the same English that I do.

        Bruce and others need to get over themselves, language is truly democratic and is determined by majority use no matter what anybody else thinks.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hidden or secret


        Beer? Only one? You must be American...

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Hidden or secret

      Crypto means hidden' or 'secret':

      And as the entire point about blockchains is that they are explicitly public, calling quasi-monetary tokens based on a blockchain a crypto-currency is oxymoronic.

    4. Joel 1

      Re: Hidden or secret

      I remember many decades ago when people referred to political views being crypto-fascist meaning that they were hiding their genuine fascistic viewpoint behind an acceptable veneer.

      Ah, the halcyon days of youth, when people still thought that having an acceptable veneer was important...

  3. NickHolland

    how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

    here's an idea: write it out.

    To me, truncating words and abbreviating them is just snobbish. For the most part, when I see someone saying "crypto", regardless of the intended meaning, it translates basically to, "I think I'm cool", except, I think you look like a goof.

    I'm not talking about just the non-word "crypto", here, either. Our industry LOVES spewing letters around and hoping the listener/reader "gets it" (or maybe, just thinks we are cool). Yet, we can communicate a lot clearer if we just spell (or say) it out rather than shortening it. It also respects those that come from other fields -- our three letter acronyms conflict with other three letter acronyms. JUST SAY IT OUT. I spent a lot of time decades ago trying to figure out what Automatic Teller Machines or Adobe Type Manager had to do with networking (and much more recently trying NOT to think of Automatic Teller Machines when someone said "ATM", realized, no, really, for the first time in my career, "ATM" means "Automatic Teller Machines".)

    Ok, there are some things that this doesn't help -- saying "Modulator/Demodulator" over "MODEM" or "Random Access Memory" over "RAM". I get that. But I don't think there's a reason for this "dispute". Take the high road.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

      We could call it "block chain" currency. Same number of syllables as "crypto" and more descriptive. And it leaves the crypto- prefix free so as not to assume anything when used alone. "Crypto-what?"

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

        How about calling it what it is?

        Shirley a simple "Digital Currency" more than covers it?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

          "Shirley a simple 'Digital Currency' more than covers it?"

          No, it doesn't. Any of our currencies are digital currencies, as are tokens stored in one company's database like the virtual currencies used in videogames. Cryptocurrency or blockchain currency, I think either works, is quite distinct because it is decentralized by use of a blockchain and secure by use of public key cryptography (hence why it can use crypto in its name in my opinion). I think from the suggestions that blockchain currency is probably a better name for it, but digital currency is insufficient.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

            I hear what you are saying, but the vast majority of people, even those who understand the conversation, would not consider the Dollar or Pound to be digital. Bitcoin, on the other hand, most definitely is in the minds of those very same people.

            And it avoids overloading the word Crypto, while properly using the word Digital.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

              They might not think of them as digital, but they are. If we decide on a name because some people don't understand one thing, and by doing so we're inaccurate about the thing we've renamed, we're doing two things wrong. Hence why it isn't a proper use of digital.

              The things called cryptocurrencies really do have distinct features from all currencies issued by central banks and from purely digital currencies that didn't have the same goals in mind. It is not unreasonable to use a different term to limit discussion to that type of currency. If we used "digital currency", we would constantly have to add qualifiers to our statements to ensure we weren't talking about someone's SQL database with account numbers and amounts in it. As such, "cryptocurrency" is easier to say and understand than "digital currency, specifically a decentralized one using a distributed blockchain and cryptographic access mechanisms" so nobody will use it. If we dislike "cryptocurrency" as a term, it's a good idea for our replacement to have similar exactness and simplicity as the term we want to replace.

              1. Blazde Silver badge

                Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

                How about 'analogue currency' because cryptocurrency is an analogue of the physical currencies that proceeded it, or because blockchain transactions are not actual economic transactions but merely recorded electrical representations of them.

                Language is weird sometimes.

          2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

            " and secure by use of public key cryptography (hence why it can use crypto in its name in my opinion"

            Yeah but hundreds of things use cryptography and we dont prefix them with crypto everytime theyre mentioned

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

              The cryptography is both integral to the concept (not bolted on as with many other systems) and differentiates it from the previous currencies. This was an intentional design decision in the initial cryptocurrencies to make it impossible to have a central authority, and the initial designs and arguments for it indicated how important this feature was to the concept. It's really quite different than some other system that uses SSL for security of communications.

    2. scrubber

      Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

      NickHolland: "truncating words and abbreviating them is just snobbish"

      Then goes on to use: I'm; doesn't; and don't.

      Take the high road indeed.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

        Plus some communication media are character-limited, so there's a need to convey a lot in a little...

        1. Dante Alighieri

          Spartan's did it first


          1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

            Re: Spartan's did it first



            See number 6.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

          That would be compression, not cryptography.

          Related, yes, but not quite the same. Not even if you squint.

    3. Martin Gregorie

      Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

      The difference between MODEM and ATM is that:

      - MODEM has never been assumed to mean anything except a device for turning characters into a unique sequence of transmitted tones and for performing the reverse operation on a sequence of received tones,

      - ATM was coined as an abbreviation of Automatic Teller Machine, and later hijacked by some Adobe flack without the wit to think up his own unique name or mnemonic for a new piece of software.

      Note that ATMs used to only dispense cash. It took several years before they gained the ability to ingest it as well, and IIRC they only got called ATMs when they got bright enough to deal with cards carrying the legitimate owner's account information encoded on a magnetic stripe.

      There was a previous hole-in-the-wall machine called, IIRC, a 'cash dispenser', which gave out a tenner if you fed it a small plastic punch card. Problem was, the card was swallowed by the cash dispenser and you only got one card. This meant you couldn't get any more dosh until the card had been posted back to you, so about one withdrawal per week or maybe two if you were lucky and the Post Office wasn't on strike.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

        Err, you missed out the ATM that NickHolland was thinking of:

        Asynchronous Transfer Mode, a telecommunications protocol used in networking

        There are other possibilities, and wikipedia has a much more comprehensive list than I could come up with

        1. stungebag

          Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

          By his own logic he isn't NickHolland but, perhaps, Mr. Nicholas Holland.

          But I think we're in danger of turning into a community of cryptofascists.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

        "MODEM has never been assumed to mean anything except a device for turning characters into a unique sequence of transmitted tones and for performing the reverse operation on a sequence of received tones,"

        Wrong. "MODEM!" is also US-Southern shorthand for "May I please have another portion of biscuits[0] and sausage gravy?", often accompanied by appropriate gesticulation toward same.

        We won't discus French Politics, this is off-topic enough as it is ...

        [0] The savory quick-bread variation of biscuit, of course. Recommended.

      3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

        a previous hole-in-the-wall machine called, IIRC, a 'cash dispenser', which gave out a tenner if you fed it a small plastic punch card.

        Slight nitpick (from personal experience): "which sometimes, if you were lucky, gave out a tenner"

    4. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

      "To me, truncating words and abbreviating them is just snobbish"

      On that basis, everyone who has a 'microwave' in their kitchen or uses a 'vacuum' must be a snob (which would include most of us). There's a well established habit (at least in English) of the qualifier of a nominal expression in common use becoming a noun substitute for it.

      The real question is whether the cryptographic property of a blockchain is the characteristic that should be selected as the noun substitute in this case. Alternative suggestions invited.

    5. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

      Asynchronous Transfer Mode :-)

      The French call them Caisses Automatiques...

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hacker vs Cracker, v2

    Co-opting terms for something else isn't exactly a new occurence now, is it?

    We all know that "hacking" originally meant adjusting whatever tech you have to make it do what YOU want it to do instead of what was the original idea, and "cracking" was the malicious variant thereof. Evidently that was already too complicated for the average journalist :(.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Hacker vs Cracker, v2


      On the bright side, such misuse makes for handy filters when trying to sort out who actually knows what they are talking about, and who is parroting things they've heard somewhere.

      I'm with Bruce on this one.

    2. YetAnotherXyzzy

      Re: Hacker vs Cracker, v2

      I came to say this, but see you already said it better. Have a beer!

    3. Clausewitz 4.0

      Re: Hacker vs Cracker, v2

      Cracking can also be applied to folks who reverse engineer software/hardware. No malicious intent.

    4. cdegroot

      Re: Hacker vs Cracker, v2

      Add "pirate" to the list. Once these scumbags that raid ships and kill all on board for loot, thanks to the intellectual property industry now a person who copies a CD.

  5. kskropf

    Uhm, what about the the use of the prefix in 'crypto-Christian', which goes back to at least the late 19th century? And then in other formulations crypto-Communisit, crypto-Conservative... practising in hiding or underground.

    1. Stork Silver badge

      Or the crypto-Judaic societies in Portugal?

      1. jake Silver badge

        I'd mention Cryptozoology ... but there be dragons.

    2. Clausewitz 4.0

      Soon Crypto-Nazis

      1. jake Silver badge

        "Soon Crypto-Nazis"

        It already exists ... It describes someone who secretly agrees with (neo-)nazism .... or sometimes someone who obviously agrees but refuses to say so in as many words.

        Likewise crypto-fascists. My Big Dic[0] suggests that the British Press used this term as early as the 1920s.

        [0] OED, second dead tree edition.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who is Infosec?

    Who is this "Infosec" ?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: who is Infosec?

      jake$ whois infosec

      No whois server is known for this kind of object.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like a lot of people, I view words first from relevant personal experience, then expand to other meanings. So, having gout, my 'crypto' means walking strangely.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good luck on that.

    After a certain Angelina Jolie movie came out, only criminals got referred to as "hackers"... despite years of precedence in the community.

    Compared to the general public, the community in any segment of IT is tiny. As a result, the public use of the word ends up winning despite the protests of the community.

  9. Giles C Silver badge

    Loads of linguists on here

    Looking at the poll results it is amazing how many register readers hold degrees in advanced linguistics.

    According to the results 28 of you lot do….. or according to the survey that is 17% of the readership….

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Loads of linguists on here

      We're very cunning too, to dust off that old joke.


  10. Clausewitz 4.0

    Dumb Politicians, Crypto and Lobbysts

    To understand the fuzz about the crypto meaning.

    Lobbyists tried so hard, for years, to teach and talk with dumb politicians what crypto really meant - cryptography.

    With cryptocurrency, it got all mixed up.

    Now they can't talk to politicians.

    1. jason_derp

      Re: Dumb Politicians, Crypto and Lobbysts

      "Now they can't talk to politicians."

      They appear to have done a shit job before cryptocurrencies ever existed.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah......what about the children?

    Every time a politician talks about encryption it's all about "end-to-end encryption".....and about "children"....and about "bad actors".......


    Absolutely no abbreviations used at all! Rather the reverse.


    However.....even though abbreviations never appear in this context (Bruce Schneier would approve), it's also apparent that the main participants in the discussion (in the UK, Priti Patel, Ben Wallace, Jeremy Fleming) have absolutely no understanding of the non-abbreviated words!!!


    So........rather than complain about abbreviations.....perhaps the discussion ought to be about understanding!!!


    Just saying!

    1. Charles 9

      Re: Ah......what about the children?

      But what do you do when many of the parties involved have an incentive to NOT understand it, or even to intentionally misinterpret it?

  12. pavel.petrman

    Non-Refundable Tokens

    Thank you, John Cleese, for calling the thins what they are! Non-floodable tokens, wasn't it?

  13. Alan J. Wylie

    "Crypto" means Cryptosporidium

    A very unpleasant intestinal parasite

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: "Crypto" means Cryptosporidium

      ...and "CDC", when I was in uni, stood for Control Data Corporation

      (I used to have a nice lab coat with their logo on the back...dunno what happened to it)

      1. herman

        Re: "Crypto" means Cryptosporidium

        The coat or CDC? The Control Data Corporation became Computing Devices Canada and later General Dynamics Canada. (I worked at all three of them).

      2. Alan J. Wylie

        Re: "Crypto" means Cryptosporidium

        "CDC", when I was in uni, stood for Control Data Corporation

        From the Jargon File:

        In 1989, a random of the journalistic persuasion asked hacker Paul Boutin "What do you think will be the biggest problem in computing in the 90s?" Paul's straight-faced response: "There are only 17,000 three-letter acronyms"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like the majority of people in the world I have little practical experience related to cryptography. Unlike most people in the world, however, I have had cause to dabble from time to time, and at those times I have always referred to it as 'cryptography'. I tend to prefer the full term 'cryptocurrency' too, but I'm strange like that. ;)

    Spoken and written language is defined by its use, not by a committee - Académie Française and the Simplified Spelling Board notwithstanding.

    The people have quite literally spoken on this matter.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For some reason this has triggered a lyric(quote?) in my head and I can't pinpoint it (or get rid of it!)...

    "Where good is bad, and bad is about as good as it gets"

  16. breakfast Silver badge

    Of course, the original cryptocurrency was money stolen from crypts.

  17. Luiz Abdala

    Let the context decide.

    I loved that point.

    For us boffins, crypto means cryptography.

    If somebody mentions bitcoin and blockchain on the same breath, crypto means cryptocurrency.

    Let's decide that over a beer that costs 0,0000000001 bitcoin.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let the context decide.

      yeah context is everything. has bruce schneier turned into a bot that only takes literal meaning of words?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it ironic...

    That this dudes tweet comes off a bit crypto-fascist?

    I'll get my coat.

  19. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    I just checked with some of my mates

    And Bigfoot, Mothman, the Yeti, Almasty, Orang Pendek and the Yule Lads all agreed that "Crypto" means Cryptozoology.

    "Crypto" does, of course, come from the Greek "kryptós" meaning "hidden" or "secret", so y'know, if you're not going to use the full word, it means any of those things, and more. See if you can find all the hidden meanings...

  20. HundredthIdiot

    While we're at it

    Can we reclaim "hacking" and disambiguate "racing"?

  21. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    Confusing poll

    Aren't we supposed to get like a week's worth of "For" and "Against" arguments by various illuminaries, along with a daily poll whose questions make some of us wonder whether we're supporting the basic proposal, supporting the opposition of the proposal by a proponent, opposing the support of the opposition, or opposing the opposition by the opposition? I don't understand how a simple poll with four straight-forward questions got past the El Reg Poll soviet.

    As to "crypto" itself, my guess is some of the blame for its casual use by the great unwashed is due to Cryptolocker and its descendants muddying the waters even further buy requiring crypto-currency to unlock the encrypted files on the hard drive.

  22. jason_derp

    I don't understand the big deal

    I use it as shorthand for both. Lots of acronyms mean two different things, and I've gotten along fine with those. Nobody is unnecessarily put out, attacked, or offended by using it for both, so fuck it. If it's not clear with context, isn't that a good thing? Doesn't that mean cryptocurrencies are more in tune with the cryptography part of their name, then? Seems like people being angry because they're so used to be angry they can't help but turn their personal preference towards something into an issue we all have to be a part of, unfortunately.

  23. You aint sin me, roit

    Disappointing lack of enthusiasm...

    For burning heretics. How else are we going to purge the system?

  24. aguynearphilly

    Well, etymology and people's feelings aside, it should be noted that

    If facts matter to you, here's why "crypto" is called crypto. Cryptocurrencies are known by that name because the SHA-256 hashing algorithm is an integral part of the Bitcoin protocol. Not because cryptocurrencies are "private" (almost NONE of them are) or because things are hidden. Go read up on "blockchain analytics" to see how little is hidden in most block chains.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      aguynearphilly - If I'm not mistaking

      a hashing algorithm does not encrypt.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: aguynearphilly - If I'm not mistaking

        It doesn't encrypt, but nobody said it did. SHA256 is in a category called "cryptographic hashes", as opposed to hashes that can be used for storing and retrieving data but are weak on uses for security-sensitive operations, and therefore it still counts. Cryptographers decided this.

  25. Like Magic

    To Late

    the cab has already left the rank, there is no way you would ever convince the public any different

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    About reducing everything to only 2 syllabes, as a lot of hacks simply don't have more than 2kB of active memory and obviously still need to recall how to get fed, and how to walk, on top of their next paper.

    All that, to the detriment of real meanings.

    Crypto always was cryptography or cryptanalysis (attack or defend, same technology). Since decades, likely the Roman empire.

    So, I'm definitely with Schneier here !

  27. plrndl

    Mind Your Language

    Specialist terms that become known to the general public via the media WILL be corrupted. There is no escape from this. Language changes. For example idiot, moron, cretin, imbecile, spastic all started life as medical terms for specific conditions. "Paedo" has become a general purpose insult for school children. Life goes on.

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