Thursday, January 06, 2005

Bookmark This

Bookmark This

I was dining with a friend a few weeks ago, when he said something peculiar to me. "This is a nice restaurant" he said, "we'll have to bookmark this." I thought it odd at the time-using "bookmark" as a verb in normal conversation but, then again, he is a computer programmer, so I really shouldn't have thought anything of it.

The great philosopher Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbs fame, once said, "any noun can be verbed but it sure weirds the language." While this may very well be true, it can also be said that "any computer-related noun can be verbed and it sure wires the language."

Just think of all the recent examples of "computer noun-age" cropping up in everyday life. "Bookmark this," is only a drop in the bucket, there's also using Google as a verb, IM-ed, TOS-d, DOS-d, spammed, popup, pods and podlings, cookies and, I'm certain, a host of others. Didn't we all once think that cookies were oreos?

The word "wired" itself comes from computer speak, although it's become so commonplace we seem to have collectively forgotten this factoid. I don't know why hackers, crackers, coders, and the like see it fit to have their own language (actually, technically, I suppose, it's more like a "vernacular" than an entire language) but they do. Perhaps it's because these are all the folks who flunked English lit back in school, preferring to spend time with "the machine room" rather than skull cracking tomes like The Illiad.

I once read The Illiad back in college. It's about a son who betrays his father. Actually, technically, it's not. I don't remember what it's about but, clocking in at that many pages, I'm fairly certain there's a father/son combo buried in there somewhere. What? Like you were going to doubt me?

There's a word for that too but, having been one of those "machine room hangers on," I wouldn't know what it is.

Until next time...

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