RE: Computer/IT Jargon List

Subject: RE: Computer/IT Jargon List
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "'cloy -dot- tobola -at- ndsu -dot- edu'" <cloy -dot- tobola -at- ndsu -dot- edu>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 12:59:26 -0500

Cloy Tobola said:

> Below are the items on my current "terms to avoid" list for our ITS
> department. Additions to the list would be appreciated.
> -Cloy
> ====================
> application / program / software – program and software are commonly
> used by the public. Application is acceptable if the meaning is clear
> from context.
> client – generally avoid when referring to software that
> connects to a
> server. Instead use program, “network software,” “network connection
> software," etc., for clarity.
> force – when used in regard to passwords, avoid cryptic phrases like
> "force a password change."
> hyperlink – acceptable, but link (or “page link” for remedial
> audiences)
> is clearer.
> legacy systems – generally use “former computer systems,” or
> “existing
> systems,” or define. The connotation of the term, which may not be
> obvious to readers, is that this refers to outdated hardware
> and software.
> peripheral – avoid. Specify the particular items (mouse, keyboard,
> monitor, etc.) if possible or use “external hardware” or “external
> computer devices.”
> phishing - fraudulent e-mails designed to fool users into revealing
> personal information for criminal gain. Explain.
> telephony – telephone and/or network services is a more
> user-friendly term
> versioning, version control – explain that this means the ability to
> control and track document changes
> VoIP – transmission of phone calls over the Internet or other data
> network, rather than over traditional phone lines. Avoid or explain.
> Web-based, Web[-based] application, Web[-based] interface – in most
> instances, it’s important to explain that Web-based means that
> information is managed using a “web form,” similar to the
> process used
> to order a book on Amazon.
> virus – typically understood by non-technical users. Avoid terms like
> worm and "Trojan horse" when referring to computer viruses.
> If specifics
> are required, define.

Hmm. For my company, I'd disagree with 1/3 of those.
Nevertheless, why not modify the wording slightly (take out all the
instances of "define", "avoid", etc.), post the list on your internal
website, and encourage/command ITS and other purveyors of semi-tech
speech to LINK to the relevant definitions on your page. That way, with one
central glossary, nobody ever needs to get it wrong.

For occasions when the writer doesn't include the specific links,
all the company employees would have a handy page to go look up
the puzzling term they'd just encountered. In fact, ITS (and others)
could include the basic page link ( :-) ) in a standard footer attached
to all their broadcast pronouncements.

Just a thought.


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