WHY Can't Computer People Speak Simple ENGLISH?!

Professor Eve:
Hear them down at RPI,
Dropping words that make you cry.
Speaking English anyway they like.

Why can’t computers teach the techies how to speak?
My whole vocabulary now,
Is rendered quite antique.
If I spoke like Bill Gates, sir,
Instead of the way I do,
Why, I might be weaving baskets, too!
Hear an IT geek, or worse,
Hear a Virex doc converse,
I’d rather hear a choir singing flat.
Chickens cackling in a barn
Just like this one!


I ask you, sir, what sort of word is that?
It’s “exe” and “firewall” that keep her in her place.
Not her sloppy clothes and dirty face.

Why can’t computers teach the techies how to speak?
Norwegians talk Norwegian; the Greeks have stuck with Greek.
In France every Frenchman knows his language “A” to “Zed”
(The French never care what they say, actually, as long as they can download porn.)
Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning.
And Hebrews learn it backwards, which is absolutely frightening.
But not know your Windows? You’re regarded as a freak!
Why can’t computers teach the techies how to speak?!

::::clap clap::::

svchost.exe crashed? Welcome to worm world, baby.

Yeeaaaaaaah, we’re gonna need to recombobulate your friznobulator. Go ahead and download a twiddlysquirge (make sure you get version 3.x or higher, unless you’re running the 2.4.1 kernel, in which place you already know what software dependencies you have).

Oh, and if you don’t do it right, your computer will stab you in the face.

It’s real easy! Just go right ahead and do it. I’ll be over here looking gruff and imposing if you have any questions.


My guess is that a plain-english explanation on why SVCHOST crashed would be so laborious and clumsy that it would drive you to cut someone open with a roofing shingle, Xiu Xiu-style.

If computers were simple and straight-forward, then the IT guys wouldn’t have jobs, dear Eve. Think of it as a WPA program for geeks. Do you really want them as staff at your favorite Spa?

Because then you would know the words of power.

And we don’t want that.


[Why do I have the uneasy suspicion you’re not kidding, though?]

This is what computer geeks think about when you mention Eliza.

Because anyone can “poke the computer with a stick till it works” but only a computer geek can “recompile the actuator kernel using the /w-o-o-d switch and reconfigure the input devices for pointy object acceptance”.
And they really will stab you in the face. With a broken beer bottle.

Rebuttal from a Geek

Why oh why can’t people learn
the basics of computers, we yearn.
You turn it on and hope it works,
never caring what inside lurks.
You spent a couple thou on your machine
carring mostly whether it was blue or green.

Why do so many just try to act dingy,
its a 40 pin cable, not a ribbon-thingy.
When we talk with passion about our chip,
You roll your eyes like we’re a drip.
Never listening to a damn thing we say,
We talk about patches and you just walk away.

But then one day the shit hits the fan,
You recieve a worm over from the company LAN.
we try to tell you which .sys to fix,
but all you want is to just flick a switch.
It’s called what it’s called, we can’t change the name,
The system can’t find it if it’s not called the same.
It’s not our problem your vocab is weak,
maybe you should learn a little bit of ‘geek’

[sub] Just being a smartass, not meant to be serious :wink: [/sub]

We computer geeks speak computer instead of English because that is what computers speak, and we spend most of our time talking to computers.

If svchost.exe crashed and we tell you that, it’s much quicker for us to just walk you through restarting a program or a service even if you don’t know exactly what that means than it is to launch into a very long and metaphorical explanation in non-computer terms.

Be very, very glad that we don’t speak in C, 80x86 assembly, or worse, binary.

Bravo, wolfman!

Damn users. :wink:

Eve, you are now officially the only poster who has made me physically laugh out loud at work (I’m one of those non-laughers Jerry Seinfeld talks about). It was the line about the French that did it. Good thing it’s early and no one’s about yet.

My current grail project - the evil clown user assistant.

A replacement for online help documentation, which most users can’t be bothered with anyway, it’s a system that can identify user stupidity, and assist by transporting ethereal clowns to their location. Preferably they should be on tricycles, pedalling around the vic…the user whilst circus music plays. Then they stab him in the face until his problems disappear.

Can you guess I’ve had a bad week with users? There’s only so many idiotic suggestions you can take before you start cackling to yourself and imagining scary clowns with big smiles and bigger knives, and you start humming doot doot dootle-ootle doot-doot doo-doo.

Every single trade and art has its own vocabulary and its for good reason: to facilitate communication. If you know what you are talking about, then giving names to things makes communication more effective. If you do not know what you are talking about, then there’s no way to teach it to you in a short conversation.

If when sailing I say “Bear off a bit, ease the main sheet and the jib, and get ready to come about” and your answer is “huh?” then plain English ain’t gonna help and you do not belong on the boat.

If you want to talk computers you better learn the vocabulary. I have a serious problem with dimwits who proudly proclaim their ignorance of computer vocabulary and just call everything “thingy”. They are the same ones who drive Tech Support crazy.

Eve, you’ve got the worm that’s going around. You know, the one you heard on the news?

Lights… sound… rolling…
Panaflex, cineflex, jump cut, spin cut, print!
Dolly in, dolly out, check the spots, boom in frame, who’d it hit?

It’s not a language, it’s just jargon. Which, of course, are words with precise meanings in a technical culture. Remember, your computer is ten times more complicated than your car, and we’re only up to about 1920 in reliability.

It does sound like you have the virus, but we need more information. What symptoms are you seeing? Try to repeat the error message as precisely as you can. (A lovely name for the computer by the way… Pygmalion?)
As far as how to cure it… What operating system are you running? Here. Try this:

Is this a fair description of the problem?

Then this is the proper tool.

On the other hand, it may be something else. Do you have an antivirus program, Eve?

I love you wolfman :smiley:

Oh, I already know for sure I have The Virus, E-Sabbath. Our “IT Bo” at work has given me a CD he says I can download tonight to fix it, and I should go to the new Norton (“Hey, Ralphie-boy!”) Anti-Virus afterward.

Of course, my computer will only stay on for 60 seconds, lending the whole operation a tense Mission: Impossible feel.

What sent me over the edge was getting 12 different (and contradictory) pieces of advice from 12 different friends (yes, some of them right here on the SDMB), all of them phrased in undecipherable Compu-Babble. I actually have a permanent cartoon question-mark above my head, now.

(P.S. Glad you liked it, Pug!)