Tuesday, May 19, 2009

At play in the files of the Jargon

In the New Yorker, a poem by Heather McHugh:

Hackers Can Sidejack Cookies
A collage-homage to Guy L. Steele and Eric S. Raymond.

A beige toaster is a maggotbox.
A bit bucket is a data sink.
Farkled is a synonym for hosed.
Flamage is a weenie problem.

A berserker wizard gets no score for treasure.
In MUDs one acknowledges
a bonk with an oif.
(There’s a cosmic bonk/oif balance.)

Ooblick is play sludge.
A buttonhook is a hunchback.
Logic bombs can get inside
back doors. There were published bang paths
ten hops long. Designs succumbing
to creeping featuritis
are banana problems.
(“I know how to spell banana,
but I don’t know when to stop.”)
That's just a taste, the whole thing is here.

For those who have not laughed and nodded the whole way through The New Hacker's Dictionary, paper or online versions, or its online progenitor, The Jargon File, here is a little bit of exegesis.

Found at Eric S. Raymond's own blog site, referenced by commenter Jeff Read in the course of a discussion of the Danish language.

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