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Marco Koene

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Guest Chris Sweeney

My apologies for not getting back sooner.

I guess it came across as an ungracious post, and of course, afterwards I realised that it would have no effect on how you talked anyway, not least because you are experts talking among yourself and are going to use 'jargon', just as anyone working in similar areas does with each other!

It was born of my frustration simply because I really do want to understand what is being said and learn from it and for just a split second - a mere moment - I felt so over whelmed I expressed my utter confusion! I most certainly was NOT accusing anyone of being so exclusive that they would not advise and help any forum member were help requested. Certainly not.

I shall use this thread in my teaching of Language and Technology. It will provoke a lively debate!

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Re Chris's message:

Feeling frustrated when one does not understand the jargon is a common feeling. I remember feeling just as frustrated when I learned to drive (Clutch? Declutch? What do you mean?) and when I first began to take an interest in football (Striker? Sweeper? Eh?) - I attended a rugby-playing school and simply did not understand the terminology and the rules of the game. But, as I said before in an earlier message, one just has to LEARN jargon when one is confronted with a new subject. The problem with ICT is that it is so fast-moving that new terms are coined every day and that some ICT concepts cannot be easily expressed without using jargon, e.g. how does one talk about "broadband" without resorting to a very long-winded alternative?

Technicians are a special category. They often use Geek Speak, which they think sounds good as well as being confusing to laypersons. I found this on the Web at a Geek Speak site:

"Hey...are you going to the rally on the dotted quad?"

Translation: "A dotted quad is the slang term for an Internet Protocol (IP) address, the numeric location on the Net that a machine is assigned so that data can be sent to it. Think of it as the same concept as the numbers on a house, put there so that the post office can deliver the mail. Dotted quads are called that because when you read them, they look like four numbers, each between 0 and 255, separated by periods, or dots. Here's an example of a dotted quad:"


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