Periscope Depth

just like witches at black masses

Does anyone else find it odd that we refer to activating a hyperlink in HTML, or an icon on a graphical desktop, as “clicking”? That we call the action by the noise the input device makes? I find it weird – not offensive, mind you, just deeply odd – that that evolved the way it did. I would never say, “Hey, could you go vreet-vreet this on the copier for me?” Or “Yeah, just hummmmmmmmmmmmm-BEEP-BEEP it in the microwave for thirty seconds on High.”

Everything else in the graphical metaphor we call an Operating System has a real world analog. Your “desktop” at home might have a stack of “folders” on it, which you could open to discover “documents” or close and arrange in “files.” But clicking doesn’t connect to any other real world behavior. I don’t push in on the spine of a book before taking it off the shelf. File clerks of a century past weren’t tapping twice on the cover of an account ledger before opening it, unless they had the palsy.

While the mood strikes me: I hate the word “blog.” I remember first seeing it a few years ago and praying it wouldn’t catch on. The word just sits there on the screen, stiff and ugly – the clumsy bl blend, the dissonant og on the end of it. If a two-year-old child kept mispronouncing “weblog,” that’s the noise I’d expect. To hear it coming from a supposedly literate adult irks me.

“Click” I just find weird, but “blog” turns my stomach.

And as long as I have you here: should I pronounce .gif like the peanut butter or like the space hippo? Does anyone else pronounce the word “MMORPG” so it rhymes with a certain Black Sabbath song? Why does it take longer to abbreviate “World Wide Web” than to say it? And why do all those kids on my block keep listening to that loud garbage music? You know the kind I mean.

My point: stop letting engineers name things.

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