Five completely nerdish jargon words you might hear online
Here are five terms that you just might see on the Internet, but (unless you're
a real nerd) you probably haven't used in everyday conversation. These definitions
were shamelessly lifted from the wonderful, hilarious, and otherwise nifty "Jargon File",
a compendium of hacker slang. You can FTP your very own copy from
ftp.spies.com:/Library/Classic/jargon.txt. Watch out though, it's over a megabyte in size.
- mung: Mash Until No Good. To destroy, usually accidentally, occasionally maliciously.
The system only mungs things maliciously. Mung is also a kind of bean. The
sprouts are often used in Chinese food.
- kluge: a. An ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts, forming a distressing
whole, such as a Rube Goldberg device. b. A clever programming trick intended to solve
a particular nasty case in an expedient, if not clear, manner. Often used to repair bugs.
- glob: To expand special characters in a wildcarded name. For instance, the UNIX
conventions for filename "wildcarding" have become sufficiently pervasive that many
hackers use some of them in written English, especially in e-mail or news on
technical topics. For instance, the character * means "any string". and "?" means
"any single character". In the example "I don't read talk.politics.*" the globbing indicates
that the speaker doesn't read any of the talk.politics newsgroups.
- bogosity: The degree to which something is bogus (useless, incorrect or unbelievable).
At CMU, bogosity is measured with a bogometer; in a seminar, when a speaker says something
bogus, a listener might raise his hand and say "My bogometer just triggered".
More extremely, "You just pinned my bogometer" means you just said or did something so
outrageously bogus that it is off the scale, pinning the bogometer needle at the highest
- bogon flux: A measure of a supposed field of bogosity emitted by a speaker, measured
by a bogometer; as a speaker starts to wander into increasing bogosity a listener might say
"Warning, warning, bogon flux is rising".
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Copyright © 1994, 1995, 2004 by Kevin Savetz. The information in this book was collected in 1994-1995 and has not been updated since.