Term Confusion

By far the most common mistake is to mispronounce one or more of the myriad selection of technical terms incorrectly, or to use the wrong term at the wrong time.

My school had fairly old computers. One day, one of my classmates offered to bring in his computer so that the teacher could do something that was not possible on the current computers we had.

  • Him: "I could just bring in the modem and set it up here." (pointing to computer desk)
  • Me: "Modem?"
  • Him: "Um... yah!"
  • Me: "Your computer connects to the internet through a modem."
  • Him: "I mean this thing... (points to computer tower)... you know, modem, whatever."

Me and a friend were talking about transferring video from an old VHS-C camera onto my computer in order to be able to edit it.

  • Me: "I can connect my camera to my TV tuner and record it as a file, then import it into Movie Maker."
  • Friend: "No, you should just get a 'USV' cord for your camera and plug it into your computer."

(VHS-C cameras don't come with 'USV' cords, or USB cords for that matter.)

"...and then I defragmentized my hard drive..."

"What's 'Unicord' support?" (Referring to Unicode support)

Another teacher: "And a computer stores data in ASC 2 files..."

Student: "There's a thousand kilobytes in a megabyte, and a thousand megabytes in a 'kiggabyte'..."

My teacher was on the phone with a print shop, talking about sending files for the creation of a yearbook over the internet:

  • Teacher: "...and then I downloaded my whole computer..."

  • Me: "I could give you the files, but I'll need a blank CD-ROM."
  • Her: "Is that a 'CD plus ROM' or a 'CD minus ROM' "?

My teacher wanted to put some pictures onto a CD and send them to a friend.

  • Teacher: "Should I use a CD-R ("CD minus R") or CD+R?"
  • Me: "They only have DVD+R and DVD-R. There's no such thing as a CD+R."
  • Teacher: "Oh, OK."
  • Classmate: "Yes, there IS such a thing as a CD+R!"
  • Him: "I have some blank DVDs that you can use."
  • Me: "Are they DVD+R or DVD-R?"
  • Him: "They're just DVD R."

I accepted them anyway.

  • Classmate: "I need a CD plus minus R."

One of my teachers would always call a flash drive a "speed stick".

I wonder if she calls a security dongle a "right guard".

"I just unplugged the HDD power to my CD drive..."

"Which CPU is better, a Pentium 4 at 1.7 GHz or a Pentium 4 Celeron at 2.1 GHz?"

One of my friends had bought an old computer. He told me he wanted the screensaver changed. So I opened up Display Properties and clicked the Screensaver tab.

  • Him: (After looking through the available screensavers) "The only screensavers I see are all moving and have black backgrounds. I want a screensaver that doesn't move and looks like a beach or something like that."
  • Me: "Do you mean the wallpaper?"
  • Him: "Whatever!"

A friend was showing off his new cell phone, which included a web browser. As a demonstration, he went to Yahoo.com. However, the page displayed without styles.

  • Him: "Why does it look weird like that?"
  • Me: "Because your cell phone's browser doesn't support CSS."
  • Him: "Well, it supports RSS, so why doesn't that work?"

Comments (2)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 4:14 PM
Holy sh*t! I can't believe how funny it is to laugh at the fails of the computer-illiterate!
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 6:51 PM
@Player863 Yep, sure is. Though I'm sure us "computer geniuses" have made some pretty embarrassing mistakes like that in the past. I can definitely relate to a few of these.
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