Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Is that English?

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   As I have stated before I listen to the local Public Radio station. It might be counter to my image as a cracker with a computer, but I enjoy classical music and am amused by the riveting reports on such subjects as the sex life of earwicks or the manufacture of bowling pins.

   I consider myself fluent in English, have a pretty good handle on Spanish and have a smattering of New Jersey. (The NJ dialect has some interesting adverbial forms none of which can be repeated in mixed company.)

   The other day I was on the road and had NPR on the car radio. A call-in program about computers was on. After about five minutes I had a splitting headache and found myself loudly swearing at the radio and wondering if they were speaking English.

   So it became apparent that a new language has been developed that only computer geeks can speak. I suppose you can call it ‘Gatesish’. It has something to do with gigs and bites and acronyms like SATA or DDR2. So the whole show consists of the two hosts computer-babbling along with a string of callers and not one word in five did I understand.

   It seems that I am not the only one with a problem with geek-speak.

   According to a recent police report a 68-year-old grandmother was up on charges of assault. This lady is a pillar of the community. She is the go-to gal for any charitable organization and was voted ‘Woman of the Year’ by the state United Methodist Women.

   One of her granddaughters was going to start college and she thought it would be a good idea to get her a computer. She went to a local computer outlet and talked to a salesman. After speaking with him for about three minutes she had him by the collar and was pounding him up against the counter screaming, “Speak English, you sorry, little twerp!”

   Her case went to trial and she was found guilty. She got 1,000 hours of community service, (which to her was piece of cake.) There was an interesting twist to case. After taking the stand and testifying the salesman got six months of hard time for attempted murder of the English language.

   I have always had a problem with jargon. It seems to me that it does not help in communication, but hinders it. Go into a doctor’s office and listen to the clinical description of hay-fever and you are positive that your number is up and your next stop should be the undertakers to pick out something nice in mahogany.

   The military are some of worst offenders. Try and translate the following, “We are going to cross the LD/LC at BMNT and prep the objective with the four-deuces directed by the IDFT when you pop goofy-grape about a half a click out.” These guys make rap artists sound like English professors

     However, even we journalists are guilty. Did you ever hear of a ‘pica’ a ‘3M line’ a ‘bulldog’ or a ‘gutter’? © 2009, Jim McGowan.


Written by harmonycounty

July 15, 2009 at 4:42 p07

Posted in Americana, Humor

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