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Posted: October 17, 2007

The Global Language Monitor releases global study of top 10 most confusing yet widely used high tech buzzwords for 2007

(Nanowerk News) In a worldwide internet and media analysis, The Global Language Monitor ( has found the most confusing yet frequently cited high tech buzzwords in 2007 to be iPOD, Flash, Cookie, Nano and Kernel followed by Megahertz, Cell (cell as in cell phone), Plasma, De-duplication, and Blu-Ray.
The study was released earlier today, on the 13th anniversary of the 'cookie,' the invention that made the World Wide Web practical for widespread surfing, communication, and e-commerce.
You can read the list below or watch the whole thing on YouTube:
Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor, said "Educational metrics such as the Flesch Test would place a typical paragraph using these words at the Third-grade reading-level. At the same time, most college graduates, even from the most prestigious engineering schools such as MIT, Stanford, and CalTech would be challenged to precisely define all ten. Once again, the High Tech industry has failed its basic language proficiency test."
The analysis was completed using GLM's Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI), the proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet. The words are tracked in relation to frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets. This analysis was performed in earlier this month.
The Most Confusing Yet Frequently Cited High Tech Words of 2007 with Commentary follow:
1. iPOD: We all know the brand, but what exactly is a 'pod'? A gathering of marine mammals? The encasement for peas? The evacuation module from 2001: A Space Odyssey?
2. Flash: As in Flash Memory. Given it is easier to say than " I brought the report on my EEPROM chip with a thin oxide layer separating a floating gate and control gate utilizing Fowler-Nordheim electron tunneling".
3. Nano: Widely used to describe any small as in nanotechnology. Like the word 'mini' which originally referred to the red hues in Italian miniature paintings, the word nano- is ultimately derived from the ancient Greek word for dwarf.
4. Cookie: Without cookies with their 'persistent state' management mechanism the web as we know it, would cease to exist.
5. Kernel: The core layer of a computer operating system serving as a connection to the underlying hardware. Ultimately derives from the Old English cyrnel, for corn.
6. Megahertz (MHz): Named after German physicist Heinrich Hertz, signifying a million cycles per second in computer processor (and not clock) speed. Next up: GigaHertz (GHz) and TeraHertz (THz), one billion and one trillion cycles.
7. Cell (as in Cell Phone): Operating on the principle of cells, where communicate through low-power transceiver to cellular 'towers' up to 6 miles away (which is why you can connect to ground stations from airplanes at 35,000 feet). The phone connects to the strongest signal which are then passed from tower to tower.
8. Plasma (as in Plasma Television): A top word in the last survey still confusing large-screen TV buyers.
9. De-duplication: One of the newer buzzwords meaning removing duplicated data from a storage device, as in 'we're in the process of de-duping the silo'. Ouch!
10. Blu-Ray (vs. HD DVD). New technology for high capacity DVDs reminiscent of the VHS/Beta wars of the 1980s.
Most Confusing Acronym: SOA (Service-oriented Architecture); IBM had to write a book to explain it!?
Other terms being tracked included terabyte, memory, core, and head crash.
About the Global Language Monitor
Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in language the world over, with a particular emphasis on Global English. Currently, GLM is counting the number of words in the Global English Codex. The Million Word March currently stands at 995,116.
A worldwide assemblage of academics, professional wordsmiths and bibliophiles supports the GLM to monitor the latest trends in the evolution of language, word usage and word choices. For more information, call 1.925.367.7557 or go to
Source: Global Language Monitor
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