1. The language of computer terminology has become familiar to the English-speaking world in the last twenty years or so as the technological revolution has impinged on the lives of most people both at work and in their homes. Since much of the development in this field has been led by North American organizations, English has become the electronic lingua franca much as it has been the international medium of communication in air travel and other domains. Most recently, the rapid expansion in use of the Internet (or World Wide Web) has produced a vocabulary of its own, both at technical level and in everyday slang. Much of the technical jargon is based on initialisms of three or more letters, such as http (= hypertext transfer protocol), ISP (= Internet service provider), www (= World Wide Web, used in web-site addresses), Wi-Fi (= Wireless Fidelity, for transmission of data over wireless networks), and VOIP (voice over Internet protocol, a technology for making telephone calls over the Internet).
2. Other terminology is based on or adapted from words that belong to the basic core of English: people buy hardware and install software on it, and occasionally freeware (but they need to beware of adware and malware); their desk becomes a workstation; many computer programs are manipulated by using a mouse to make choices from a menu; computer symbols are icons; a location on the Internet is a site, which is accessed by means of a home page, and the data is explored by browsing or surfing (usually with a browser). People communicate by email (= electronic mail) as distinct from snail mail (= the ordinary postal service), send aggressive messages by flaming (a revival of an old meaning), and break into other people's systems by hacking. Medical analogy is invoked to alert users to the dangers of computer bugs and viruses, some of which may be macro-borne (= communicated by copying an infected macro program). What is most interesting from the point of view of language is how little of this vocabulary has developed extended meanings in other contexts, leaving the world of computer jargon a closed environment, borrowing words from everyday language and signally failing to return them.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • computerese — [n] computer technical language computer jargon, computer terminology, computer terms, hacker talk, tech talk; concept 275 …   New thesaurus

  • computerese — ☆ computerese [kəm pyo͞ot΄ər ēz′ ] n. the jargon used in computer technology: see ESE …   English World dictionary

  • computerese — noun Date: circa 1960 jargon used by computer technologists …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • computerese — /keuhm pyooh teuh reez , rees /, n. the jargon and technical terms associated with computers and their operation. [1955 60; COMPUTER + ESE] * * * …   Universalium

  • computerese — noun The jargon associated with computers …   Wiktionary

  • computerese — com·pu·te·ré·se s.m. CO scherz., linguaggio specialistico relativo al computer, costituito per lo più da calchi e prestiti dall inglese {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1983 …   Dizionario italiano

  • computerese — pl.m. computeresi …   Dizionario dei sinonimi e contrari

  • computerese — n. computer jargon, specialized technical vocabulary used in the computer industry by computer technologists …   English contemporary dictionary

  • computerese — com·put·er·ese …   English syllables

  • computerese — com•put•er•ese [[t]kəmˌpyu təˈriz, ˈris[/t]] n. cvb cmp the jargon and technical terms associated with computers and their operation • Etymology: 1955–60 …   From formal English to slang

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