ASSOCIATES (vol. 8 no. 1, July 2001) -

Techno-Speak Made Easy


Michael D. Brooks
St. Joseph's University
Francis A. Drexel Library

Are you one of those people who think they are techno-savvy? Do you put together web pages and discuss netiquette with your colleagues? Do you sit around in chat rooms or game rooms and communicate in techno-speak? Or are you one of those people who wish they could be clued in to all the techno-babble? Do you find that you sit at the reference desk or the circulation desk and find that your patrons are more computer literate that you? If you are any of these types, then there is a place for you to hang out on the Web. Just point your browser to ( is a one-stop dictionary for the Internet-challenged and savvy alike. defines words, terms, jargon, and acronyms. From its homepage, you can check out the online dictionary or click on the pocket dictionary link. The Pocket Dictionary is a cool feature to have. What it does is load the site's complete dictionary in a window on your desktop. You can surf the Web, write email, chat, or do whatever you normally do when you are working (playing?) on your computer. Then, as it says on the site, when you come across a word you are not familiar with, you can simply open the window on you desktop, scroll through the selections and click on the unfamiliar word.

If your vocabulary is adequate but your grasp of Smileys (aka emoticons) is not, then just check out the Smileys page to discover more. Smileys are clever creations used to convey some kind of emotion during chat sessions, in email messages, and in instant messages. Because it is sometimes difficult to accurately interpret the intent behind a statement, an emoticon can sometimes make the difference between making and losing a friend.

If you do not have any friends and spend most or all of your waking moments building Web pages, the Web Design Coloring Book can take the guesswork out of selecting a background color for your pages. Simply select a color from the two pull-down menus for your background and text, click the show-me-this-color-combo button and take a look at the results at the top of the page. When you find the right combination, cut and paste the hex code right into your Web page. To quote Darth Vader: "Impressive."

Still not impressed? Then read the comments and observations of those who are. The Press, Awards and Reciprocal Links page just might change your mind. It is loaded with accolades from, well, everywhere. Maybe ASSOCIATES will get an honorable mention after this issue. Heck, judging from the list of reviews, any mention will put us in with good company.

There are a lot of sites out there addressing the concerns of technical jargon and computer/Internet terminology. Most of those sites have dictionaries with convoluted definitions. You need a dictionary to understand the definition. Not The definitions are actually fun. Just like the site.

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