Creating New Words

One of my online correspondents is David Hakala, a freelance technology writer and the former editor of Boardwatch magazine (the period in history that the magazine was actually relevant).

He sent around a newspaper article to a group of us about how a company has developed a strain of rice, genetically engineered with the goal of reducing childhood diarrhea -- a major cause of death in children in third world countries.

His introduction to the article was, simply:

I shit thee not! :-)

One of the others in the group replied to the article, asking a technical question about the genetic engineering component.

Figuring she completely missed the point, I replied,

My Dear! Hak didn't post this because he wants to debate the merits of the idea. He posted it because he wanted to get his clever pun out.

Hakala replied with mock indignation,

Randy, my good man, I take umbrage at the accusation that I would clutter up the Internet with trivial transmissions.

And to that, I couldn't help but reply,

Oh, yeah: sending an article to arrive among the spam and told-ten-billion-times jokes is trivializing the Internet! You'll go down in infamy! The very name "Hak" will become an epithet! Oh... too late.

And that, dear readers, is where the terms "hack" (for a cheesy writer) and "hacker" (for an online prankster) came from. Never mind that those terms have been around forever, and I didn't have that e-mail exchange until May of 2006.

Posted May 22, 2006

« Redneck Jury Fixin' | Home | Random | A Win-Win-Win Situation »

Category: Online life -- Prev: Product Announcement from Microsoft | Next: The Top 20 Rejected Names for Windows Vista
Category: True Story -- Prev: Scientific Truth in Warning Labels Act | Next: Mexican Mormons Multiplied