05/12/2015

Notable words, Q4 2015


  • telematics (n.): Telecommunications informatics; that is, horrendous employee micromanagement via wireless reporting devices.

  • scofflaw (n.): person who disrespects the law. Particularly of proud drinkers during Prohibition.

  • havey-cavey (adj.): dubious, shady, 'the property of having hidden metaphorical caves'?.

  • rive (v.): To split violently. See frost riving, the destruction of rock by repeated thermal contraction of water inside it. See also "reave".
  • lookbook (n.): A model's or photographer's portfolio. Awful

  • Ophiuchus (proper n.): A constellation and the 13th zodiac sign, excluded from the usual blah because astrology is a cold, dead system invented by people without a fraction of our information, maintained by people with no intellectual courage. Yet another world-cultural reference I received dimly and very indirectly from Final Fantasy. (see also Grendel, Behemoth, Leviathan, Gilgamesh, Quezacotl, Lamia, Wendigo, Sephirot, Heidegger, Bugenhagen...).

  • grex (Latin n.): 1. a crowd, a herd, a bundle; 2. particularly an aggregate of amoebae, formed for the purposes of mutual travel and food collection or 3. a hybrid plant created by artificially splicing parents of differing species.

  • blazar (n.): a small but unbelievably energetic quasar (i.e. a black-hole powered, 'optically violent' galactic nucleus with energy output hundreds of trillions of times one ordinary star's).

  • Relativistic jet (n.): A plasma death-ray tens of thousands of light-years long.



I'll partition off tech for those who can't care:

  • failover (n. / v.): a backup / to switch to backup. Just a weird clumsy word, poor thing.

  • l10n (n.): localisation. Awful

  • shadow app (n.): Software used at work despite not being approved by the IT department bureaucracy.

  • glob (v.): to attempt to pattern-match.

  • Glob (n.): a Martian God in Adventure Time, cf. "OH MY GLOB"

  • cleardown (n.): The ending of a phonecall. (By analogy, the deallocation of resources used to service network requests.) Perhaps due to the position of switches on the old switchboards.

  • bare-metal (a.): Of software: acting on the hardware directly, without OS mediation.

  • closure (n.): 1. a useful kind of active datum: a first-class function that can access variables in the scope it was defined in. 2. Sometimes refers to that subset of closures used for dynamic calls (callbacks). Sometimes wrongly used for any anonymous function.

  • thunk (n.): A unit resulting from compile-time memoization; when the code comes to run, the type has already been thought of: has been thunk.

  • userland (n.): the non-kernel portion of an OS; its API for all application software. One never actually sees the kernel running; only the phenomena of userland are present to us. The kernel must be pure and separated from the multiple evils of this, the Elk Cloner Era. Userland does the dirty elk-risk work.

  • PICNIC (n.): a software failure in which the Problem is In the Chair, Not in the Computer. See also PEBCAK, 1D10T, wetware bug, carbon-based error.

  • tooling (n.): process of customising one's toolchain, or one bit of software in it, often with shell scripts.
  • uncloud (v.): to remove your data or infrastructure or (...) from other people's computers.




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