“Sexting” has been voted the most annoying new technology word added to dictionaries over the last year –and wins a new award for the year’s most unspeakable example of tech talk or geek-speak.
Sexting,– which means “the sending of sexually explicit photos or messages by mobile phone” wins the first annual “Unspeakable” Award, given by Computeractive magazine to the “new, technology-related word most likely to make you wince, grimace or want to bang your head on the keyboard”.
It does so after topping an online poll of 2,054 people conducted by YouGov for Computeractive to find the single “most annoying or horrible” new technology-related word added to dictionaries over the last year or so.
The next most annoying words, felt those polled, were respectively:
Intexticated (“unable to concentrate while driving due to being distracted by texting”); defriend (“To remove someone from one’s list of friends on social networking site”); Twittersphere (“the collective noun for all Tweets on Twitter”).
“There’s no arguing ‘intexticated’, ‘defriend’ and ‘Twittersphere’ are all unspeakable words,” says Paul Allen, editor of Computeractive, which delivers simple, clear computer advice in plain English.
“But ‘sexting’ is a worthy winner, truly a word to make you want to bang your head on the keyboard… or vice-versa. When you first hear it, you don’t know whether to wince, howl or just weep for the English language. Besides, any word voted more horrible than ‘intexticated’ deserves an award.”
Every year the world of technology yields a fresh crop of hideous and often baffling new words,” says Allen. “They’re all geek to me… and many others,” says Allen. “But thanks to the web, they spread like never before.”
“The result,” says Allen, “is that ‘Techlish’ (alias tech-speak or geek-speak) is starting to swamp English. It’s time someone took a stand. That’s why we’relaunching our award.”
Respondents to the YouGov online poll selected from a short-list drawn up by Computeractive of 10 new, technology-related words.
The landslide winner was “sexting”. It polled 24% of the votes –almost twice as many as the 13% that earned “intexticated” second place and three times the 8% that bagged “defriend” third place.
The least annoying of the 10 words in the YouGov poll were judged to be, respectively, “dot-bomb” (an Internet dot-com that has failed and/or gone bankrupt), “scareware” (a malicious program designed to trick users into buying unnecessary software, such as fake antivirus protection) and Twitpic (a picture posted as a Tweet on Twitter).
They were all judged somehow less wince-making than “clickjacking” (maliciously manipulating a web-user’s action by concealing hyperlinks) or “hacktivist” (someone who hacks into computer data as a form of activism).
“Where do they get these words?”, asks Allen. “Drugs? Bad dreams? Childhood traumas. Like I say, it’s time to take a stand.”
THE RESULTS IN FULL
1, sexting 24%; 2, intexticated 13%; 3, defriend 8%; 4, Twittersphere 7%; 5, Tweetup 6%; 6, Hacktivist 5%; 7, Clickjacking 4%; 8, Twitpic 3%; 8=, Scareware 3%; 8=, Dot-bomb, 3%; don’t know, 13%; not applicable/none qualify, 12%.
And what they mean:
1. sexting: The sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages by mobile phone 2. intexticated: Unable to concentrate while driving because of being distracted by texting.
3. defriend: To remove someone from one’s list of friends on a social networking site.
4. Twittersphere: The collective noun for all postings/Tweets on Twitter.
5. Tweetup: A meeting or get-together that has been organized via Tweets on Twitter.
6. hacktivist: Someone who hacks into computer data as a form of activism.
7. clickjacking: Maliciously manipulating a web-user’s action by concealed hyperlinks.
8.= Twitpic: A picture posted as a Tweet on Twitter.
8.= scareware: A malicious program designed to trick users into buying unnecessary software such as fake antivirus protection.
8.= dot-bomb: An Internet venture (dotcom) that has failed and/or gone bankrupt.