Adrian Pepper's Refuge for Abused Words

Here I make notes about usage of words which I find particularly irksome. I especially hope to collect a list of words which have a meaning in a computer context which is some distance from their meaning in other contexts.

abuse

account

In a more general context the term account would tend imply the reckoning of a monetary balance, often with a history of credits and debits. In relation to computers, however, account is often used to refer to the login userid which works for some particular computer system whether or not any money is involved.To make things complicated, some software involved with login userid maintenance actually does allow for the use of related monetary accounts.

Rationale: Originally computers were expensive, and all login user names probably did resolve very quickly to a true monetary account.

do

entry

host

mailing-list

quota

In contrast to printer quota the term disk quota is reasonably precise and well-understood. People do abuse the word slightly by using "quota" as if to refer to the amount they have used so far instead of the limit.

In contrast to disk quota, it's not clear the term printing quota (also printer quota or print quota) is understood or used consistently. Especially when the user does not ever need to pay for the printing, there is a tendency to think of printing quota as if it is a prepaid account with funds which get used up when pages are printed. In MFCF, however, where they do collect money for printing, quota is definitely not prepaid funds. Rather, it is a limit on the amount which can be charged to the appropriate account as pages are printed.

record

run

system

type

use

user

-- AdrianPepper - 24 Feb 2010

Topic revision: r6 - 2010-03-13 - AdrianPepper
 
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by PerlCopyright © 2008-2019 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback