5 Tech Items People Write Or Say Wrong

Posted March 14, 2011 6:00 am by with 13 comments

There are certain products that suffer from permanent identity errors in the way people write or pronounce them.

1. Firefox’s Abbreviation

The mistake: Writing the abbreviated Firefox as FF
The right way: Writing as Fx or fx

Who says this is so? The Firefox developers themselves (see point 8 on that link).

Yes, I’ve been guilty of using FF on several occasions in article content here. Oops.

2. Pronunciation of GIF

The mistake: Saying GIF with a hard G like ghost
The right way: Saying GIF with a soft G like giraffe

Who says GIF is pronounced with a soft G? CompuServe, as they invented the format.

This is yet another that I’m guilty of, however I still pronounce GIF with a hard G anyway because that’s what I’m used to, and the fact the word graphics in Graphics Interchange Format has a hard G in it – and I’m not about to start pronouncing graphics as "giraphics".

3. The proper full name for Internet Explorer

The mistake: Microsoft Internet Explorer
The right way: Windows Internet Explorer

For this one you can easily point the blame at Microsoft for changing the name of a product that didn’t need it. We all know that Microsoft isn’t the best at picking names and should have left well enough alone, but didn’t.

In case you’re wondering, yes, WIE is acceptable as an abbreviation – but not MSIE. The old standby IE is also acceptable.

4. Mac and MAC

The mistake: Writing MAC in reference to an Apple Macintosh computer
The right way: When referring to an Apple Macintosh computer, it’s Mac

MAC does not mean Apple Macintosh. MAC in tech terms means Media Access Control, commonly referred to as a MAC address, or Make-up Art Cosmetics. Yes, it’s true when referring to the cosmetics company it’s technically M·A·C, but being most people don’t know how to use the middle dot HTML character, it’s written commonly as MAC.

The next time you see someone write, "I love my MAC", you can reply with, "You love blush and eyeliner?" and be 100% correct.

5. Pronunciation of Disqus

The mistake: Pronouncing like discus
The right way: Pronouncing like discuss

Both Dave and myself pronounced Disqus (the comment system used here) wrong for a really long time until I realized one day it’s supposed to be pronounced as discuss, as in to have discussion as Disqus is a comment system.

13 responses to 5 Tech Items People Write Or Say Wrong

  1. Aaron Fournier March 14th, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I’m definitely guilty of number five. Every time I bring up Disqus in a conversation, I start saying it the wrong way and then have to correct myself midway xD

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  2. mmseng1 March 14th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I scored 3/5. What do I win!?

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  3. Sagecrispin March 14th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I guess “guilty” on all points, BUT as far as I’m concerned, I’ll stay that way on #1. To me “Fx” means “video effects” or even the FX network on TV, not Firefox. I’ll be sticking with “FF” for my favorite browser-unless that means I won’t be allowed to use it anymore.

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  4. Asif Ahmed March 14th, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Hope I won’t face legal charges for pronouncing them my way

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  5. Flights to Harare March 15th, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Well i am guilty of all numbers but i ll try to pronounce correct now.

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  6. Steve March 15th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I struggled with Asus for the longest time.

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  7. nick March 15th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    wow.. I figured this would include the hijacking of the metric naming conventions for thousand, million, billion, etc for measures they were never meant to represent. For example, “giga” means “billion” (1,000,000,000), not the actual 1,073,741,824 bytes we use it for, which would actually be “gibi”.
    And not only did the computer science world hijack these prefixes, they refuse to pronounce “giga” correctly. It is correctly pronounced “jigga”.

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  8. mahlon March 16th, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Yeah, like I’m going to be the wanker that corrects everybody’s pronunciation of ‘gif’ and tells them that it’s true because compuserve says so… Right. When I moved to Oz and discovered that everyone pronounces ‘fillet’ like ‘fill it’ I was a bit surprised. Now I just say ‘I’ll have the eye fillit rare please’.

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  9. Gigedit March 17th, 2011 at 2:34 am

    It’s ironic to find, in an article on pronunciation mistakes, something as awful as “Both Dave and myself pronounced …”

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    • Rich March 17th, 2011 at 2:43 am

      Ain’t it?

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  10. Fraserjm March 17th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Interesting subject . I would appreciate viewing a video where Rich correctly pronounces a whole list of tech related words,jargon and acronyms. Would especially enjoy hearing someone pronounce “Ubuntu” correctly?

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