...and this is the February 15, 2011 musing on tech/net lingo

All hypertext-links on this page are 'dummied' - they are just here for illustrative purposes. In other words: These links are intentionally left blank.

Once upon a time, in a land of castles, dragons, princes, princesses and frogs...

Computers and networks were invented (or 'fathered') by Vice-Presidents! **

These early computers were not very user friendly and they required wizards to "PUNCH" holes in paper and feed that holey paper to the computer to tell it our intentions. In these early times, if the internet had been pulled from the stone, all of our 'links' would have appeared like: PUNCH here. More correctly: PUNCH -o--o---o--o-oo into that paper and insert it into the slot to see some more information.

Luckily, some tech-smithes, hidden behind veils of anacronyms (like I.B.M. and D.R.I. and HP and MS), toiled in their caverns, hammering finer and stronger computers over their anvils, heating them to glowing on their forges. Their labors and sweat produced for us the COMMAND PROMPT (billed as a 'simple human interface'). It looked like: C>_ (the _ would sometimes blink!, letting you know it was your turn). Now the newly 'text interactive' wizards we had become, could conjure our 'more information' by entering/typing 'simplified commands' that would look something like:
C>xyz -a +9 sighup /replicate /butjustcopyanddisplay /jyy /+42 /c:25x80 INTERNET:\\website +ditDot -net +com /page:homepage NOERROR
Oh, yes, wizardlings, we were light years ahead of that old paper-punch-process.

The "was that plus or minus or slash" debates and arguments, often nearing violence, raged in all of the halls of TechNocracy. The anacronym-conjurers consulted with warty-nosed witches, boiled a few eyes of newt and came up with: the TEXT MENU. Keyboards expanded, arrow keys were added, and had the great internet been pulled from the stone at this juncture, our hypertext-links would have appeared as:
Down-Arrow To Here and Press [ENTER] to go deeper into the caverns!

New, ever more crafty, tradescraftsmen appeared over the mountains. They came with whole names - Xerox! Apple! Coleco! Atari! - so MS threw off its Cape-Of-Anacronym and became MicroSoft! But, they came with something incomprehensible, inconceivable (and absolutely impossible for left-handed folks): THE "CLICK HERE" - THE MOUSE! And, oh how the people (even the lefties) clicked here and clicked there and even clicked on pictures without words and clicked on things just because they had learned the secret click-code like This is a link (because of the underline and color we all just knew clicky-that goes somewhere else)!

A millenium came and went, css's invaded the world, more colors, better highlights, neet-o little link-sigs came into use ( >> two little greater-thans means 'clicker' of course, before or after >> ). Scripts and never-to-be-fully-understood 'rollovers' joined the civilizations... There were popups, popouts, flyouts, smart-highlights and hovers, mouse-over previews...

And, oh how we clicked and clicked and clicked, happily ever after, into the sunset!


It started "back then" with ASK*ME2000 and those pesky Automated Teller Machines. The confusion war, or as those in the "Clandestine Services" like to call it:

Operation Touch Screen (OTS) - press, click, tap, or what? (A psy-ops experiment(?), origin <UNKNOWN>)

From the OTS Operator Briefing To Superiors February 2011 [.]..operative witnessed today - quite accidentally, not 'under surveillance' - at the check-out counter of [REDACTED]: one (1) elderly (75+ in years estimated) F [F=female]. The F, only attempting purchase of one (1) soft beverage of type [REDACTED], was utterly psy-stopped (confounded, nonplussed) by what appears to be a Palm®-on-a-Pedestal device, complete with Stylus... [.]..operative, in a non-suspect (clandestine) manner, peered onto the screen to gleen what matter of hypnotic/subliminal message had rendered the F-Elderly-Subject 'incapacitated'... [.]..operative witnessed a text-formed question: "Did you have a nice day?", followed by a 'prompt' of sorts: Click [YES] or Tap [NO] and in very small print, centered beneath: Or you can use the stylus. The Elderly-F was observed, eyes bobble-ing back and forth, up and down, apparently lost in the puzzle... [.]..she several times reached out as if to remove the stylus from its holder, however the movement was never completed, her hand trembling just short of the thing. [.]..operative believes that commerce may be subverted and executive action (as well as full utilization of the clandestine services) may be warranted.

To click or not to click, that is the question.

The first major problem with this New Era of touch-screen mass popularity (pads, pods, palms, tablets, iPhones, a(ndroid)Phones [aPhones, you heard it here first] and those never-deaded-pesky-ATMs) is that - really - there is no click. They tap, style-us, swipe, servo, actuate, tilt, GPS, hokey-pokey and turn themselves about! But NO click. As in, CLICK HERE. And, I'm trained to tell you, when Grandma asks Grandson "What do I do now?" (in regards to posting comments on her facey-spacey-thing from her iPad) and Grandson answers "CLICK HERE" - Grandson is about to get the dreaded, squinty-eyed DUMB LOOK. Or, worse, Grandma might just roll her tongue up behind her upper-plate and snap it down, orally Click(ing) Here just before issue of: DUMB LOOK.

The next major problem would be: How are we going to convince 2,000,000 'outsourced tech support' folks to handle this added terminology confusion?
[GRANDPA-US]: Hay this server doesn't work.
[TS-Malay]: Do you have a mouse?
[GRANDPA-US]: What? Call you David? What's a mouse?
[TS-Malay]: A mouse, sir. A separate, some-times corded, computational peripheral device for human interaction with...
[GRANDPA-US]: Are you a commie? It's a Thing-a-Jigger-Ma-Bob my grandson gave me to email-space-web-book.
[TS-Malay]: Yes, sir, no need for being 'combative.' Does your device have a mouse attached, or perhaps a wireless pointing...
...ring, ring... [GRANDSON-US]: Sheeee-Low! Zup Zup? Zizzle! [GRANDPA-US]: You are out of my will. Get a job!

Well, I, for one, have been made utterly distressed over this whole thing. I asked the oracles (google, Yahoo!, and Bing/MS - not thee Oracle like the database company turned super-conglomerate - and not the Omaha-bafillionaire one, either). The oracles had no answer. I even pressed (tapped?!, jammed?!,smashed!?) the microphone icon/pic/button on someone's aPhone and yelled at google: "How do you click here an iPhone?" google-cle answered Did you mean how do you lick your iPhone? Like, Really? - then all of their preferred answers of course said something like you don't have to lick android based devices, licking iPhones - really Apple not cool - you should buy google based products instead: no licking. (and haha trixt all of you super-globals - I still use a dumb-phone, I don't even TXT (except once, and that was a serious emergency))

Back to the Wizards, Warriors and Conjurers of Net Standards. Here, in the new era, under the pressures of Touch Screens spreading like wild-fires, like spilled liquid, like Weapons Grade Virals and Bacterials... the old forges are cold, the hammers seem to be hanging on garage walls, the anvils are dusty, cobwebs hang in the corners of all the shops (and caverns). Long ago, the powerful wizards - wearing Capes-Of-Anacronym or not - joined together and formed ANSI (later came NANSI, but no one liked NANSI because it sounded girlie). The important part of this conjurers-club was the S - S stands for Standards. And, folks, they made standards for everything, and everyone. When all the Unicorns were dancing in Faerie-swarmed pastures, and you did not know whether you should PRESS or HIT a button on your keyboard: you asked ANSI. You could walk right up to the stone, the one with the internet stuck in it, and say out loud, "Press or Hit a key, please?" Angel voices would sing from the clouds: ANSI says 'PRESS' the keys, hitting is a no-no, never 'hit' anything (except ANSI approved boxer-training devices/bags)!

And, so, we enter a Dark Ages, all of us innocents trapped between the CLICK HERE era and the TOUCH/TAP/PRESS era. And so far, no loud-voiced hero has appeared to tell us (with or without 'meme'-ification):

Tap? Click? Swipe? Touch? Press? Mash (southern-fried pressing)? Actuate? Accelerometerate?

I, for one, am not going to stand for it! On this day, in my Realm of Digi-Landia - I declare the following:

You will see, as I have seen, there is need for more clump***-ability in this day and age.

* *

Found in an abandoned Chess Club in London, England. All Clandestine Services have always used the Chess Club as a front for their Clandestine Operations - it's in the literature, look it up.

July 1991. To the Red Rook from the Black Bishop Under pressured interrogation, the subject, a Countryman from the Countryside revealed the following tale. The Countryman reports it has not been revealed to others and no written record has been assembled.

Countryman, while tending to a flock of sheep, witnessed sometime in the late 1960's or early 1970's a Colonial known to the Clandestine Services as Codenamed Colonial Al. The Countryman reports that, at the time, Colonial Al appears to have been in his early twenties. Compared with the files of the Service, this appears to be a correct age for Colonial Al. Countryman reports that the gentleman was very tall, dark of hair, of good posture, and well dressed (for an American). Black Bishop believes that the physical description, age, and notably American description of the clothing, leaves no question as to a confirmed sighting of Colonial Al.

Countryman tells a tale of Al, without wandering or "guessing" walking a direct course into the Protected Glen. Countryman, curious about an American with obvious knowledge of the Countryside, followed Al in a shadowy and clandestine manner. Al took a direct course into the Protected Glen, approached (without fear or trepidation) the Stone of Information and without hesitation drew the Internet from it, with neither a flourish nor effort. Countryman states: "He slipped the Internet, at least I think 'twas such, into his trowsers pocket and retreated from the scene. I din't pursue him any further." Countryman is visibly shocked and afraid, after this many years, in simply recounting the actions of Colonial Al.

Black Bishop, believing at this date (1991) that the Clandestine Service could only suffer embarassment and budget adjustments to the detriment of the Service itself, recommends sequestering of this information. Red Knight does not believe that the Colonials will be able to utilize The Internet for any purpose, gain or strategic effect. It is believed that Colonial Al will hold close this stolen treasure and The Internet will never be heard from again. Like our Countryman.

* * *

Editorial Finality: Feb. 16, 2011. After my team of fact checkers, grammer and spelling checkers, voice coaches and html-auditors (me) finished a review of this (silliness, madness) webpage: a most disturbing discovery was made - and corrected. In my original draft I had decided to call click/tap/press/whatever FLUMP-ing. In the olden days flump meant: fall heavily or a dull, heavy sound or the sound made by something contacting a surface. BINGO! I had said to me - something contacting a surface. Perfect, I could recommend it in RFC or White Paper format to whatever becomes The ANSI of 2011.

Well, nope. Turns out after a net search that FLUMPing has a new, disgusting, particularly adolescent-American redefinition that I am not going to go into here. It's just another word that we will never be able to use again. Like scat used to mean "go away" but now it's all demented and sick.

So, I changed it to CLUMPing - because: (1)a followable internet link now has a clump of descriptions for the act of utilizing, or activating it; (2)the first few pages of search results reveal no disgusting side-definition of clumping; (3) #1 will just have to do until Al Gore or Bill Gates tells me something better to call it. The end.