November 20, 2006

Terms You Can’t Do Without

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Some interesting definitions from The Jargon Lexicon:

bletcherous: /blech’@�r@s/, adj. Disgusting in design or function; esthetically unappealing. This word is seldom used of people. “This keyboard is bletcherous!” (Perhaps the keys don’t work very well, or are misplaced.) See losing, cretinous, bagbiting, bogus, and random. The term bletcherous applies to the esthetics of the thing so described; similarly for cretinous. By contrast, something that is losing or bagbiting may be failing to meet objective criteria. See also bogus and random, which have richer and wider shades of meaning than any of the above.

creationism: n. The (false) belief that large, innovative software designs can be completely specified in advance and then painlessly magicked out of the void by the normal efforts of a team of normally talented programmers. In fact, experience has shown repeatedly that good designs arise only from evolutionary, exploratory interaction between one (or at most a small handful of) exceptionally able designer(s) and an active user population and that the first try at a big new idea is always wrong. Unfortunately, because these truths don’t fit the planning models beloved of management, they are generally ignored.

scary devil monastery: n. Anagram frequently used to refer to the newsgroup alt.sysadmin.recovery, which is populated with characters that rather justify the reference.

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