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Hackers Slang

Hackers Slang
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Hackers Slang.

The new for us kind of job, hackering has its own slang and various expressions, that illuminate many aspects of hackish tradition, folklore, and humor. Over the years a number of individuals have been working considerable time for editing the hackish dictionary.

There are some standard methods of jargonification that became established quite early (i.e. before 1970). These include verb doubling, 'soundalike' slang, the '-P' convention, overgeneralization, spoken 'inarticulations', and anthropomorphization.

Doubling Verbs.

A standard construction in English is to double verb and to use it as exclamation, such as 'Bang, bang!' or something else. Most of these are the names for computer noises. Hackers also double verb as a concise, sometimes sarcastic comment on what the implied subject does. Also a doubled verb is often used to terminate a conversation, in the process remarking on the current state of affairs or what the speaker intends to do next. As an example I'll mention the verb ‘lose’ that hackers use to show that something has failed; that someone is obnoxious or unusually stupid; that something is unaesthetic or crock. 'Lose lose' is an interjection that is used as a reply or comment on an undesirable situation. 'I accidentally deleted all my files! Lose, lose'

Some verb-doubled constructions have special meanings not immediately obvious from the verb.

Hackers' humor often based on deliberately confounding parts of speech.

'Soundalike' Slang.

Hackers will often make rhymes or puns in order to convert an ordinary word or phrase into something more interesting. It is considered particularly flavorful [adj., aesthetically pleasing] if the phrase is bent so as to include some other jargon word; thus the computer magazine 'Dr. Dobb's Journal' is almost always referred to among hackers as 'Dr. Frob's Journal' or simply 'Dr. Frob's'. Also there are some terms of this kind that have been in fairly wide use include names for newspapers:

'Boston Herald' is called as 'Horrid' or 'Harried'; 'Houston (or San Francisco) Chronicle' became 'the Crocknicle' or 'the Comical'; 'New Your Times' is called 'New York Slime'.

However, terms like these are often made up on the spur of a moment. Standard examples include: IBM 360 became 'IBM Three-Sickly'; 'Government Property --- Do Not Duplicate' (on keys or CD's) is almost always used as 'Government Duplicity --- Do Not Propagate'; 'for historical reasons' as 'for hysterical raisings'; Margaret Jacks Hall (the building in Stanford) became 'Marginal Hacks Hall'; 'Internet Explorer' is called 'Internet Exploiter'.

Language is the most human possess, thus I cannot forget about some expressions that sometimes seem outrageous, but some people use them very often. The nature of slang is to make taboo phrases more useful and widely popular. Hackers often call 'Wall Street Journal' as 'Wall Street Urinal' and computer term 'Data General' is called as 'Dirty Genitals'.

The '-P' Convention or 'Gosperism'.

Hackers turn a word into a question by appending the syllable 'P'. The question should expect a yes/no answer, though it needn't.

As an answer some hackers almost reflexively say 'T', that means 'yes'. In programming languages is often used term 'true', so programmers very often answer 'true' or simply 'T'. Sometimes this causes misunderstandings. When a waiter or a flight attendant asks whether a hacker wants coffee, he may absently respond 'T', meaning that he wants coffee, but of course he will be brought a cup of tea instead. Also 'T' is used as an abbreviation for term 'transaction'.

As 'no' is often used term 'nil'. It is also used as a reply for question, particularly on asked using the '-P' convention.

For example at dinnertime:

Q : 'Food-p?'

A : 'Yeah, I'm pretty hungry.' or 'T!'

Also these called Gosperism. A hack invention or one of the sayings Bill Gosper. He invented a lot of terms that hackers use today. There was a funny story with Gosper when he went a Chinese restaurant. He wanted to know whether someone would like to share with him a two-person-sized bowl of soup. His inquiry was:

'Split-p soup?'

Overgeneralization. This is a very conspicuous feature of slang. It is computer terms that are used outside the computing context. Sometimes it becomes very amusing.

Thus hackers often grep [to rapidly scan a file or set of files looking for a particular pattern] for things rather than searching for them.

It took his name from the paper 'A General Regular Expression Parse'. Many of the lexicon entries are generalizations of exactly this kind.

Hackers enjoy overgeneralization on the grammatical level as well. Many hackers love to take various words and add the wrong endings to them to make nouns and verbs. For example : 'porous' produces 'porosity'; 'generous' - 'generosity'; 'mysterious' - 'mysteriosity', 'obvious' - 'obviosity' etc.

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