THE NEW ALPHABET SOUP
The playwright George Bernard Shaw is credited with the quote, “Youth is wasted on the young.” At 74, not only do I think the saying is witty, I believe it is true. If I could live with the vigor of my youth and still retain the wisdom of my age what a force for change I and others of my generation might be.
Still the young aren’t doing too badly with the wisdom they have. Jack Dorsey and Christopher Pool are among them. Dorsey is the creator of Twitter and Pool has seen his 4chan.org image board morph into “Anonymous,” — the dark side of Facebook where computer geeks are known to have mounted cyber attacks on Master Card and PayPal when these companies cut off the money supply to WikiLeaks (“Vanity Fair,” April 2011). Members of this board also helped orchestrate freedom demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt.
The changes wrought by Dorsey and Pool have also brought alternations to our language. I was in a stationery store the other day and noticed a new dictionary dedicated to Twitter acronyms, for example. Browsing through its pages, I felt like a stranger in a strange land.
One doesn’t have to be clairvoyant or a genius to know that more changes are on the way. Recently, I stumbled across some computer geek acronyms that aren’t yet main stream. I list them below for anyone looking to improve his Scrabble game:
- DDoS attack — distributed denial of service
- Loc – low-orbit ion cannon, (a piece of software that if downloaded allows a site like Anonymous to take control of your computer for a DDoS)
- Rickroll – a trick that diverts your e-mail destination to another
- Lulz – I read the explanation but still don’t get it. Just know it’s out there in cyberspace
- Trolls—kids with enough computer savvy to know what Lulz means and who engage in everything from internet high jinks to civil disobedience.
- I.R.L. – in real life
Please don’t ask how I gleaned this information. If I told you, I might have to….